Sunday, July 2, 2017

NOC revises petroleum prices downward, still makes hefty profits

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has slashed petroleum products' prices effective from midnight. But state-owned petroleum monopoly is still making hefty profits.
The NOC has reduced price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – popularly known as cooking gas – by Rs 25 per cylinder, domestic aviation fuel by Rs 4 per litre, whereas petrol, diesel and kerosene prices dropped by Rs 2 per litre.
After the downward price revision, a cooking gas cylinder will cost Rs 1,350, but the NOC is till making profit on every cylinder of LPG.
Despite the new price drop, NOC has projected that its monthly profit will stand at more than Rs 800 million.
Similarly, petrol will cost Rs 98 per litre, whereas diesel and kerosene will each cost Rs 74 per litre. Air turbine fuel (domestic) has been reduced by Rs 2 per liter for domestic airlines and by Rs 4 liter for international airlines to Rs 84 per liter (domestic) and Rs 73 (international). The domestic airliners will reduce surcharge on air fares, though the public transportation – run by both petrol and diesel will not reduce the fair.
The NOC has revised the fuel prices downwards based on the new price list that it received from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) – the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal – according to the NOC spokesperson Sitaram Pokharel. He said that the Indian supplier had lowered the price in the new price list that was sent to NOC on July 1. The NOC receives the new price list fortnightly.
The fuel monopoly has reduced the price after facing criticism for not lowering price despite the drop in fuel price in the international market. It had slashed prices two weeks ago, though the price of cooking gas remained unchanged then citing loss.
 Though the NOC had claimed that it has adopted auto pricing system – based on IOC price every fortnight – it has not been regularly adjusting the prices claiming the loss it had incurred in the past.
The state-owned fuel monopoly had also claimed that lower prices in Nepal would promote fuel smuggling at the Nepal-India border. Due to huge profits it has been making, it has however separated profits for bonus, despite huge public pressure not to 'socialise the loss and privatise the profit.'
"US crude futures have slumped about 15 per cent so far this year to about $46 per barrel, and as of Friday, ended its worst half-year performance in 19 years,” according to the international market that reported that an agreement between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers to cut output had kept oil prices stable in the last few months. But OECD total oil inventories are still above 3 billion barrels due to an unexpected recovery in Libyan and Nigerian supplies and a rebound in US shale production.

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