Mon, Aug 22, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Gas prices to rise NT$0.2 a liter, first raise in six weeks

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

The nation’s two oil refiners announced yesterday that they would increase domestic gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.2 a liter this week from last week, effective today. It would be their first price hike in six weeks.

CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) said in a statement that global crude oil prices rose last week on the back of a weakening US dollar and a stronger-than-expected decline in US crude oil inventories.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) said in a separate statement that global crude oil prices rose earlier last week on stabilizing world stock markets.

“While oil prices slid again because of disappointing economic data from the US and Europe, the average prices remained higher than the previous week’s,” it said.

Under the CPC’s pricing mechanism, its average crude oil costs rose 2 percent to US$105.4 last week, which would have allowed it to raise gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.5 per liter, the refiner said. However, the firm said it would absorb about half the cost to help stabilize prices.

In related news, CPC said on Friday it planned to invest more in its exploration well Benoy-1 in Chad, after crude and natural gas were discovered earlier this year.

The Benoy-1 well — which could yield 9,800 barrels of oil and 35,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day — is the largest overseas exploration the company has conducted at a single well over the past 40 years, CPC said.

“Over the next three years, CPC plans to invest NT$2 billion [US$68.98 million] and apply for subsidies from the government’s petroleum fund for more research and exploration work to better understand the field’s economic efficiency,” the company said in a statement.

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