08 May 2014 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) - Motorists countrywide can happily look forward to unchanged fuel prices for the month of May.
A media statement issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) last week said the month of April started off with low prices of crude oil per barrel last seen last year, owing to poor manufacturing data from China and Europe.
But as political tensions between Russia and Ukraine intensified, the price of Brent crude oil increased.
Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali was quoted in the statement as saying Brent crude oil, which is the benchmark for Namibian imported oil, climbed above US.dollars 106 (about N.dollars 1 113,61) per barrel in Singapore as concerns increased about the possibility of a deeper diplomatic rift between Russia, Europe and the United States of America.
The global market is however volatile and the ministry has to keep a watchful eye on it by ensuring that it is in a position to subsidise fuel pump prices unchanged to absorb the recorded over-recoveries through the National Energy Fund (NEF) for a rainy day, the minister stated.
He added that in Nigeria, a bomb explosion in a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja has caused a nagging fear about the spread of violent attacks, which could consequently disrupt oil supply.
Katali further stated that the Western Zawiya oil port in Libya is now operating normally after protesters vacated the entrance, a situation which halted oil production in the country in the past month.
Despite these positive developments, the production of oil in the country still remains low and that still underpins crude oil prices, he said.
Katali noted that the ministry is embarking on a fuel-marking project which aims to authenticate the fuel that comes into the country for domestic consumption, as well as fuel in transit to neighbouring countries.
The project also seeks to verify actual volumes of fuel sold for domestic consumption, from which levies are collected, against the volumes imported, from which the customs and excise duties are collected.
The latest petroleum activities return report has indicated that oil companies are not getting enough returns on their investments in the petroleum sector and there is a great need to adjust their margins just enough to encourage further investment in the future.
The ministry has therefore granted a 10 cent per litre (c/l) increase in the industry profit margin to ensure the oil industry keeps the country supplied with oil at all times, effective from 07 May 2014, Katali said.
The statement further said 95 Octane Unleaded Petrol remains at N.dollars 12,29 per litre, Diesel 500 parts per million (ppm) remains at N.dollars 12,82 and Diesel 50ppm stays unchanged at N.dollars 12,92 per litre in Walvis Bay.