Gasoline goes up eleven cents per gallon tomorrow


American Samoa will be faced with another increase in petroleum products sold in the territory when the new maximum allowable price goes into effect tomorrow, Aug. 1.
Data released by the Office of Petroleum Management shows gasoline with the highest hike of 11 cents per gallon, putting the new MAP for gasoline at $3.77 per gallon, which could bring our average retail price to $4.20.
The average retail price of gasoline in American Samoa sat at $4.09 per gallon, during July, says OPM that also states that retail prices for the west coast of California average at $3.95 per gallon, while average for Hawai’i is around $4.29 per gallon. Average for Fiji is at US$5.38; Samoa at US$5.08 and Tonga at US $6.39.
OPM says price calculations for Tonga and Samoa are done once a month, Fiji is done quarterly while American Samoa is calculated on the first and 16th of every month.
For jet fuel and kerosene, the new MAP has an increase of 7 cents per gallon, according to OPM data.
For diesel products — road diesel is $3.89 per gallon; boilers/generators (used by the Tafuna Power plant) at $3.57 per gallon; commercial fishing vessel diesel is at $3.42 per gallon and other marine diesel at $3.70 — an overall increase of six cents.
According to OPM there is a hike of 8 cents per gallon for the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which is used for the eleven generators at the American Samoa Power Authority’s temporary power generation system (TPGS) in Satala, and the ULSD road diesel used by Education Department school buses.
As to the reason for the increase, Petroleum Office Sione Kava pointed out that crude oil remains high at over $100 a barrel. He explained that it is only when this price falls lower than $80 a barrel that “we can enjoy a significant drop in our prices, and that has not been the case this year.”
Other reasons for the price increase:
* pressures and worries about the increasing risk to the supply chain caused by the political turmoil in Egypt. Additionally, 40% of all crude passes by the Suez Canal.
* scheduled and unscheduled down-time for refineries.
* increased demand from developed countries such as the US as we approach the annual summer driving season. Moreover, unusually hot weather is increasing the demand for fuel for air-conditioning, etc.
And while local residents complain about local prices, Kava points out that they are lower than other Pacific countries. He notes that American Samoa’s retail for diesel fuel is $4.21 per gallon, compared to US$4.93 in Fiji; US$5.19 in Samoa and US$6.50 in Tonga.  The average retail price for diesel in Hawai’i is $4.67 while the west coast of California is $4.10.