Crude should be in the range of $60-65/bbl in near term, says HPCL’s MD
Crude prices have increased by 40 percent in the last three months and fuel prices are at record highs. MK Surana, Chairman and MD, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) spoke about this.
The current hike in crude prices is a result of some factors like cold weather in the US, some sort of uncertainty in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) direction regarding production cuts and also an earthquake in Japan which led to some sort of disruptions in supplies, he said.
He assumes some of these shall go away.
“Going forward, we think that probably the crude should be in the range of $60-65 per barrel or somewhere around $60 per barrel,” said Surana.
Demand right now is a function of many factors.
“As far as demand for petrol is concerned, in the month of January, we saw the rise of around 6.5 percent over last year. Even in the February month, we saw the demand of around 5 percent up compared to what we saw in February up to this period,” he mentioned.
“There is a good pick up in aviation turbine fuel (ATF). It is almost reaching 60-65 percent of the pre-COVID levels. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has always been high, the industry products had been good. Overall I cannot conclude anything as far as pricing is concerned,” Surana pointed out.
In terms of the possibility of a strict lockdown in Maharashtra as the number of COVID-19 patients is on the rise, he mentioned, “I assume a complete lockdown is unlikely now. I think there may be more compliance level, more marshaling to ensure that all the guidelines are followed other than the complete lockdown. If that happens, the demand effect may be lesser or may not be there.”
On liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations, he said, “We do have the LNG in our portfolio. We have got around 600 stations from which we dispense CNG and we are putting up around 11 stations that will dispense LNG. On the city gas distribution (CGD) front, over the next five years, we have a plan of around 8,000 which includes our LNG terminals.”
“We have got around close to 45 stations Electric vehicles (EV) where we have put up the charging stations and we are in this space and we will develop it as it goes,” he added.
Source: CNBC TV18