With the crude oil prices in the international market hardening for the past couple of weeks, State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) are likely to hike petrol and diesel prices by this weekend.

The Indian crude oil basket has touched $114.63 a barrel in the international market, thus triggering the latest move to hike the prices. Petrol prices are likely to be hiked by around one rupee a litre while diesel could stand revised by 50 paise a litre. The OMCs are losing around Rs. 1.32 paise a litre presently on sale of petrol. The next round of review is slated for February 15 when the hike is proposed to be effected.

Global trend

“Petrol prices in the international market are rising. The trend shows that we will have under-recoveries on petrol. We will review the prices during the fortnightly meeting. I cannot comment on a price hike but we will certainly review things and decide,” Indian Oil Corporation chairman R.S. Butola said.

Sources said FOB price of petrol has risen from $123 a barrel, against which the retail petrol rates are benchmarked, to $131. Petrol price was last revised on January 18 when the price was cut by 30 paise to Rs. 67.26 a litre in Delhi. The reduction in rates coincided with government decision to give oil firms freedom to raise diesel prices in small monthly doses to eliminate all the losses on the fuel. OMCs hiked diesel price on that day by 50 paise to Rs. 47.65 a litre in Delhi.

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