State oil companies’ ability to freely price fuel during an election will likely be tested again as crude oil nears $70 a barrel. Crude oil gained $4 a barrel in a month mainly on contracting supplies from key producers such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other members of the oil cartel OPEC. In the same period, petrol rose 69 paise a litre, while diesel fell by Rs 1.45 a litre in Delhi.
State oil marketing companies — IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan PetroleumNSE -0.67 % — factor in exchange rate and international rates of fuel for the trailing fortnight to determine daily prices of petrol and diesel. International crude oil price trend influences rates of petrol and diesel, which also get affected by their respective demand-supply situation.