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Fuel prices fall as int’l curbs fail

/ 01:59 AM February 16, 2016

LOCAL oil firms lowered pump prices as international lobbying for price-boosting measures such as production cuts among oil exporting countries failed to gain traction.

Petron and Shell cut the prices of gasoline by P1.40 per liter, diesel by 70 centavos per liter and kerosene by 90 centavos per liter effective today (Tuesday) at 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m., respectively.

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Phoenix Petroleum and PTT Philippines cut the price of gasoline by P1.40 per liter and diesel by 70 centavos per liter effective at 6 a.m.

Eastern Petroleum beat them all, cutting gasoline prices by P1.40 per liter and diesel by 70 centavos per liter at 6 p.m. Monday.

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Last week, oil prices spiked in international trading on fresh speculation that oil exporting nations were keen on cutting production, but apparently there was not enough bullishness among traders to prop up prices.

Venezuela has been lobbying for weeks for an agreement on production cuts with Russia support. Recently, the United Arab Emirates reportedly suggested that members of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) were open to production curbs. However, no firm agreements have been announced.

Some analysts remain skeptical that leading OPEC member Saudi Arabia would move to save oil prices from further decline since it is relatively able to cope with price falls compared with countries such as Venezuela, which has declared a national crisis.

Yet there are still some bullish analysts who believe that prices would rebound sooner rather than later on news that US production is expected to decline based on declining drill rig figures.

Oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. has reported that there have been further cuts in the number of drill rigs deployed by US energy firms for the eighth straight week. Riza T. Olchondra

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