As pump prices continue to go up, some motorists are dreading the fact that fuel prices could reach PHP 100 per liter in the coming months. Currently, oil is selling for USD 110 (or PHP 5,769) per barrel. Meanwhile, the average price of gasoline and diesel in Metro Manila varies from PHP 68 to 72 and PHP 60 to 63 per liter, respectively.
What happens should the price of oil goes beyond USD 110 per barrel? The Department of Energy (DOE) has released estimated increases beyond the coming weeks if the international price continues to go up.
Based on the figures provided by the Energy Department, it's not looking good for both gasoline and diesel customers. Should the price of oil per barrel hit USD 125 (or around PHP 6,552), gasoline will average around PHP 81.22. As for diesel, it will have an average price of PHP 75.59. If ever the price of oil skyrockets to USD 140 per barrel, motorists can expect to pay PHP 86.72 for a liter of gasoline, while a liter of diesel will cost drivers to cough up PHP 81.10.
With these current projections, is there any way for the price of oil to go down? There is, and it involves the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Out of all the members of OPEC, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the few oil producers globally that could help ease prices. It's also worthy to note that there is an expanded version of the group which is known as OPEC+; and the plus means it also includes Russia.
According to a report by Reuters, the two nations have about 1.8 billion barrels per day of “short order” spare capacity. This is equal to almost 2% of world demand and almost all the total 2.2 billion barrels per day of capacity available. Should Iraq and Kuwait join the list, it's estimated that together they will have about 4 million barrels per day of spare capacity. These can then be brought to the market within a 3-6 month period to offset the rising gas prices.
With another set of big oil price hikes set for tomorrow, motorists will have to grin and bear through the continued rise in fuel prices.