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20.04.2006 Business & Finance

Oil Companies Call For New Fuel Prices

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies of Ghana (OMCs) has called for an adjustment in the prices of petroleum products to reflect the soaring crude oil prices on the international market.

According to the association, although the companies were holding some old stocks, there was the need for price adjustments to avoid distortions in the new consignment they might bring into the system.

The Industry Co-ordinator, Mr Kwame Antwi-Agyei, said this in an interview in Accra yesterday in response to current oil market situation.

Premium petrol is now selling at ¢34,850, while that of gas oil now stands at ¢32,000 with Kerosene selling at ¢24,500.

Premix gasoline now stands at ¢21,000 while Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sells at ¢80,000 per 14.5 kilogramme size cylinder.

Crude oil prices, since the Easter festivities, have risen to record highs as it hovers around $71 and $72 per barrel on the international market.

The situation has been blamed on the current impasse between the international community and Iran over its nuclear programme.

Also affecting the prices is the situation in the oil rich Niger Delta in Nigeria among other skemishes in some oil producing countries.

Mr Antwi-Agyei said the situation called for an increase to prevent the OMCs from pushing their loses onto the government.

He disabused the minds of the public that the OMCs were happy when prices went up because it was an opportunity for them to make money.

Mr Antwi-Agyei said the OMCs always took huge loans from the banks to be able to bring in the products and, therefore, any price increases affected their operations.

He said it was always better to allow the market forces to determine the prices on the market and said the OMCs looked forward to the day when the pricing would be left in the hands of the OMCs.

In a related development, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said it would soon determine the prices at which petroleum products should be sold at the pumps to reflect the situation on the ground.

Mr John Attafuah, Chief Executive of the NPA, told the Daily Graphic that the authority was only waiting for the traders to send in their request for study and action.

He said adjusting the prices had become inevitable because of the situation on the market and expressed the hope that things would change in the near future for Ghanaians to have some respite.

Story by Charles Benoni Okine