LISTED independent oil firm Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. is expecting the prices of dated Brent to go down by the fourth quarter as oil stockpiles are seen to build up, an official said.

“We expect dated Brent prices to increase into the $80s in the third quarter. But with stocks expected to start gradually building back in the fourth quarter, prices should then ease again,” Raymond T. Zorrilla, senior vice-president for external affairs of Phoenix, said in a Viber message.

Mr. Zorrilla said the company is hoping that the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) — the benchmark for local fuel products — will remain steady at $80.

MOPS is the daily average of all trading transactions of diesel and gasoline reported by Singapore-based market wire service Platts of S&P Global, Inc.

Mr. Zorrilla said the company also wants to see the dollar-peso exchange rate stabilize within the range of $54 to $55 to help bring down local oil prices.

“Commercial crude and key product stocks have gradually declined from January and draws are set to over 2 million bpd (barrel per day) in July/August. That is deeper than our outlook from last month,” he said.

“However, prices have been eroding with sufficient supply to cover prompt needs and very little interest by financial participants in oil,” he added.

In its short-term energy outlook, the Energy Information Administration (IEA) projected global oil production to increase by 1.4 million bpd in 2023 and by 1.7 million bpd in 2024.

“Rising global oil production in 2024 in our forecast keeps pace with oil demand and puts moderate downward pressure on crude oil prices beginning in the second quarter of 2024,” the IEA said.

Mr. Zorrilla said commercial oil inventories are set to “draw rapidly” in the third quarter, but “a skeptical market is waiting for visible signs before pushing prices higher.”

In the second quarter, Phoenix Petroleum incurred an attributable net loss of P1.097 billion, reversing its P143.48 million net income in the same quarter last year.

Revenues fell by 63.2% to P14.6 billion from P39.7 billion previously.

In March, Phoenix Petroleum signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian state oil firm Petronas for a joint exploration of downstream marketing business and associated technology solutions.

Under the MoU, the two companies will conduct a joint feasibility study on what will be the next phase of the partnership.

At the stock exchange on Monday, the company’s shares went down by P0.80 or 10.26% to close at P7 apiece. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera