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22.10.2008 Business & Finance

Fuel Prices To Be Reviewed

By Kwadwo B. Donkor - newtimesonline.com

THE National Petroleum Authority (NPA) says it will review prices of  petroleum  products early next month to reflect the changes in the price of crude oil on the world market.

John Attafuah, Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, announced this yesterday when the Ministry of Energy took its turn at the Meet-the-Press series.

He said the authority was assessing the full impact of the of the government's intervention in the petroleum sector when the price of crude oil went up to $116 per barrel.

Mr. Attafuah said it would take the authority about two weeks to complete the assessment and promised that early next month, the new price for petroleum products would be out.

He explained that in coming out with the price list, the authority would take into consideration both the price of crude oil on the world market and the exchange rate of the cedi as against the dollar.

The last time the authority reviewed the price list of petroleum products was in May  this year when the crude oil was selling at $116 per barrel.

Although crude oil prices went as high as $147 per barrel in July, the authority decided to stay action and to assess the full impact of the government's intervention before reviewing the prices.

 In May this year, President John Agyekum Kufuor announced a relief package for Ghanaians following the escalating prices of food and crude oil on the world market. 

The package included the reduction of import taxes on certain products, including crude oil.

Minister, Felix Owusu-Adjapong, in his presentation, said the President's relief package led to under-recovery by the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to the tune of over 162 million dollars. This excluded the period of September 1 to date with August, recording the highest under recovery of $79.849 million.

“TOR and other oil trading companies are yet to submit figures for the period of 1st September 2008 to date,” he said.

He said the government would continue to monitor the effect of crude prices on the economy as a whole “taking into account all options available under the circumstances without sacrificing the overall national interest.”

Mr. Owusu-Adjapong also announced a collaboration between his ministry and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the Tamale Polytechnic and other research institutions to undertake the necessary research and to build the requisite human resource capacity for oil, gas and solar energy technology development.

“Government is committed to provide the necessary funding support for energy research and development and will encourage industry to do same,” he noted.

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