NEW DELHI : State-run fuel retailers today decreased the price of petrol and diesel for the fifth consecutive day. Petrol price dropped by 11 paise a litre while diesel price saw a bigger cut of 19 paise a litre. If the last ten days are taken into account, the price of petrol is down by 98 paise and that of diesel by 1.85 paise.

In New Delhi, a litre of petrol today costs 74.98 and diesel 68.26. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol comes at a price of 80.58 a litre and diesel 71.57 a litre. If you are in Bengaluru, you will have to pay 77.49 for petrol and 70.53 for diesel. In Chennai, petrol costs 77.89 and diesel 72.13. Those in Hyderabad will have to pay 79.73 for petrol and 74.43 for diesel. In Gurgaon, you pay 74.43 for petrol and 67.20 for diesel.

As the international benchmark rates of the two fuels vary, the price gap between petrol and diesel has narrowed down to 6.72 a litre in Delhi now from 7.18 a litre at the beginning of this month.

Petrol pumps:

India currently has 66,817 petrol pumps, with public sector retailers like Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL owning most of them -- 59,716. PSU retailers have plans to double this network and have already starting appointing dealers.

Reliance Industries, which runs around 1,400 petrol pumps, has tied up with UK's BP plc to expand their network to 5,500 in the next five years. During the last quarter, Reliance Industries said it registered an 11% growth in diesel sales and 15% growth rate in petrol sales, as compared to industry growth rate of 0.2% for diesel and 7.1% for petrol.

Crude oil rates:

After falling for the second consecutive week, crude oil rates edged higher today with Brent going back to $65 a barrel following the shutting of two large crude production bases in Libya began shutting down amid a military blockade.

Brent crude futures were up by 75 cents, or 1.2%, to $65.60 by 0109 GMT, having earlier reached $66.00 a barrel, the highest since January 9. The West Texas Intermediate contract was up by 60 cents, or 1%, at $59.14 a barrel, after rising to $59.73, the highest since January 10.

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