MANILA — The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday said the public may need to endure high oil prices until the end of the year as global crude supplies remain tight.
DOE Oil Management Bureau Director Rino Abad said that earlier this year the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel along with Russia slashed oil production.
Based on OPEC's projections and the forecast of the International Energy Agency, Abad said, the reduced output from oil producers will persist "until the end of the year."
Last month, the fuel shortage peaked at 3 million barrels per day, but the IEA said the projected shortfall may go down to 500,000 barrels per day before the end of the year, he said.
"Mayroon tayong ini-expect na mataas pa rin na price because of the tightness, remaining tightness towards the end of the year," said Abad.
Even if supply problems ease, oil prices may continue to rise before the year ends, but the hikes will be smaller.
"Still, nandoon pa rin tayo sa mataas na price kasi wala po tayong ini-expect na pagbaba ‘no. Medyo mahirap sabihin na bababa dahil mayroon pa ring kakulangan," he added.
Pump prices increased for the 11th straight week on Tuesday.
Since July 11, diesel prices have increased by P17.30 per liter, gasoline by P11.85 per liter, and kerosene by P15.94 per liter.
While House Speaker Martin Romualdez has asked oil companies to bring down prices and called on the government to suspend excise taxes and VAT on fuels, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno opposed the latter saying it will damage the economy.
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