New Delhi: Oil marketing companies decided to keep fuel prices unchanged on Saturday even though oil prices in global markets remained firm with benchmark Brent crude within a whisker of $56 a barrel mark.
Elsewhere in the country as well fuel prices remained at Friday’s level. This is second consecutive day when retail prices of auto fuel have remained static.
Petrol and diesel prices had increased on two successive days on Wednesday and Thursday taking gasoline to record high levels in Delhi while keeping its prices very close to record high levels in other metro cities.
The increase followed swift movement of crude oil prices that rose above $55 a barrel on Thursday.
It was hovering around $55.99 a barrel on Saturday. At Rs 84.20 a litre, petrol prices have breached the highest level in the national capital after October 4, 2018, when the rate had risen to Rs 84 a litre.
OMCs’ patience of holding back fuel prices was broken on Wednesday when they increased the retail price of petrol and diesel for the first time this year after over a month long pause.
Petrol prices were very close to breaching the all time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs.
With Saturday’s pause, fuel prices have now increased on 17 of the past 50 days with petrol prices rising by Rs 3.15 per litre and diesel by 3.92 a litre.
Earlier, petrol prices had been static since September 22, and diesel rates hadn’t changed since October 2, 2020. It started rising in November and again went for pause since December 8, 2020. Since then, it increased on Wednesday and again the next day.
Though retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and oil marketing companies were following a daily price revision formula, the same was suspend ended for almost two months to prevent volatility in international oil markets from impacting fuel prices regularly during the pandemic.