Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the prices of petroleum products in Pakistan are likely to increase by Rs. 9.59 per liter from 1 March.
The government had increased the prices of petroleum products by a record Rs. 12.03 per liter to reach Rs. 159.86 per liter on 16 February.
The price of crude oil was $94 a barrel on 16 February and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed prices past $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.
Industry experts say Russia had attacked Crimea in 2014 by raising funds through petroleum products. The United States (US) has shale oil which is expensive but can be brought to market so that the prices of petroleum products can be reduced to the detriment of the Russian revenue.
It is also speculated that the US may ease sanctions on Iran to allow it to sell oil in the global market and bring the price of gasoline back to $65 a barrel but this option seems difficult to implement considering Russian terms with Iran.
As per the experts, if the current situation is not resolved immediately, the price of crude oil in the international market could reach $125 per barrel.
Economists fear that in such a case, the price of petrol in Pakistan could spike to Rs. 200, which will significantly affect people with low incomes who are already bearing the brunt of the price hikes. Currently, however, the price of petrol could increase by Rs. 9.59 per liter to reach Rs. 169.45 per liter.
Likewise, the price of high-speed diesel is likely to go up by Rs. 8.52 per liter, after which the new price will be Rs. 162.67 per liter.