CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) might report a deficit as high as NT$6 billion (US$203 million) this month as a result of rising tensions in the Persian Gulf and increases in global oil prices, a company source said on Tuesday.
The state-run oil company has been absorbing the cost of international oil price hikes — at a rate of up to NT$0.60 a liter for gasoline and NT$0.70 a liter for diesel — over the past two weeks, according to the source.
The refiner also lost about NT$6.7 billion last month as it adopted measures to curb oil prices, absorbing a total of NT$4.80 per liter of gasoline and NT$4.90 per liter of diesel since December 2010.
CPC said it would keep a close watch on global oil prices, which reached their highest level in nine months in New York as traders reacted to Iran’s suspension of crude shipments to the UK and France.
CPC said the move should have a limited impact on Taiwan because the nation imports only 22,000 barrels a day from Iran, which represents about 5 percent of the country’s total imports.
However, if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 20 percent of the world’s oil is shipped, the company would continue to suffer at the hands of soaring prices, it said.
It takes 14 days to ship oil from the Middle East to Taiwan, and CPC said its loss was calculated based on last month’s prices.