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Good news for holidays — gas prices headed down

Great news from the Office of Petroleum Management (OPM) as American Samoa heads into holiday season and even better news for those planning to do a lot of driving around to shop, as there will soon be a decrease in the maximum allowable price (MAP) or wholesale price of gas.


“I bring some great news for consumers for the start of December as we prepare for the holiday season,” said OPM’s petroleum officer Sione Kava.


The two week average for crude oil dropped from $108 a barrel to $105 a barrel from the prior two weeks, Kava said, adding that this resulted in the drop in the Base Price and “thus a drop in the MAP for all petroleum products” sold in American Samoa.


The new MAP for gasoline, effective Dec. 1, will be a decrease of four cents per gallon to $3.58 per gallon, according to OPM data. The current average retail price of gasoline is now around $4.06 per gallon, said Kava.


(Samoa News should point out that at least two gas stations are selling gasoline at a penny less per gallon.)


OPM data shows that there is a five-cent decrease in the new MAP for jet fuel — down to $3.65 per gallon and kerosene will be reduced to $3.66 per gallon.


Furthermore, diesel fuel’s new MAP will decrease by five cents per gallon - road diesel at $3.90; boilers/generators $3.59; commercial fishing vessel diesel $3.44; and other marine diesel $3.51.


According to OPM there is a decrease of four-cents per gallon for the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) for the road (which is used by several school buses) and boilers/generators (used by the eleven generators at the American Samoa Power Authority in Satala).


After December 1, the next MAP will be released Dec. 16 — a week before Christmas — and Kava projects that there maybe a slight increase at that time due to, among other things, one of the refineries in Singapore — where American Samoa and other Pacific islands get their fuel supply — will have downtime for repairs following a fire last week.


Another contributing factor is that more driving will be done in the U.S. due to the holiday season resulting in increased demand. “With more demand, that means an increase in prices,” he said, but was quick to point out that OPM continues to monitor these issues.