New Delhi: With the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) remaining non-committal on crude oil supply cut at its Vienna meeting, fuel prices now appear to be heading for another slide in India. Petrol and diesel prices, down by about 15% in the last 2 months, dropped by 40 paise and 41 paise, respectively, today. Petrol costs ₹ 70.92 per litre in Delhi, ₹ 71.46 in Bengaluru, ₹ 76.50 in Mumbai, ₹ 73.57 in Chennai and ₹ 72.97 in Kolkata.
A litre of diesel, on the other hand, costs ₹ 65.55 in Delhi, ₹ 65.88 in Bengaluru, ₹ 68.59 in Mumbai, ₹ 69.19 in Chennai and ₹ 67.28 in Kolkata. In November, when crude oil rates fell by around 22% in the international market, petrol prices, however, fell by only about 9% in India.
Petrol prices had hit an all-time high of ₹ 84 per litre in Delhi and ₹ 91.34 in Mumbai on October 4, when crude oil was also trading at higher levels. Since then, petrol has fallen by about 15% while crude oil rates have been down by about 30% over concerns of oversupply and global economic slowdown.
The price gap between the two automobile fuels has been narrowing. The rate of decline in petrol prices has not been as sharp as that for diesel. While petrol price is back to where it was in mid-Jan while diesel is struggling to cross April levels. Oil retailers say it is due to a difference in benchmark rates for both fuels.
In the global market, international Brent crude oil futures fell below $60 per barrel early in the session today while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were around $51 per barrel.
Today’s decline comes after crude slumped by almost 3% yesterday which was a result of the OPEC’s failure to announce a decision to cut crude oil supply.
A surge in crude oil production is largely due to soaring US output, which has jumped by 2.5 million billion barrels per day (bpd) since early 2016 to a record 11.7 million bpd, making the United States the world’s biggest oil producer. The US government has said it turned into a net exporter of petroleum for the first time in 75 years last week thanks to the shale oil boom.