OIL COMPANIES are raising the prices of petroleum products this week as trading in the international market had taken a sharp turn on Thursday last week after days of steady decline, Energy officials said on Monday. Gasoline prices will increase by P0.80 per liter (/L), diesel prices by P0.70/L, and gasoline by P0.40/L. This week’s price adjustment is the first increase after reductions in most weeks from Oct. to Dec. last year. Department of Energy Undersecretary William Felix B. Fuentebella said this week’s price increase was “quite unusual” because trading in the global market reversed the downward trend from Monday to Wednesday last week. He attributed the increase to the move by Saudi Arabia to cut its output while other members of the oil cartel discussed the same move. He also cited a statement from officials of the Middle Eastern country for further action if the production cut would not have an impact on prices. — Victor V. Saulon