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Hike in petroleum products across the board in the territory

Motorists — be prepared to once again pay another hike in gasoline prices after the new maximum allowable price (MAP), or wholesale price, for all petroleum products sold in the territory, was released on Thursday by the ASG Office of Petroleum Management (OPM).

As a matter of fact all petroleum products for American Samoa are seeing an increase, including diesel fuel, kerosene and jet fuel, based on the new MAP,  said Petroleum Officer Sione Kava, with OPM.

“An increase across the board is mainly due to the rise in the crude oil prices — not because of increase in demand —  but because of the issues with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz and Iran cutting off supply to major European countries,” Kava said Wednesday.

Iran, a major oil exporter, for several weeks has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, an important waterway transport in the middle east, and national news organizations reported yesterday that oil prices rose Monday due in part to Iran cutting off exports to Britain and France.

According to Kava, the new MAP for gasoline effective yesterday is $4 per gallon, which is an increase of eleven cents per gallon. OPM plans to check with local stations later this week to obtain the new average price, based on the new MAP.

The average retail price of gas as of early this week was around $4.30 per gallon and the new MAP will have the new retail price hit the $4.40 per gallon mark.

At this time last year, gasoline hiked by 4 cents to a retail average of $3.90 per gallon, according to Samoa News archive records. 

The national average of gas prices across the U.S. yesterday was $3.73 per gallon, according to The Associated Press, who also reported that gas prices have increased for twenty-two straight days.

Kava said that there is also an increase of 9 cents per gallon for the new MAP on jet fuel and kerosene, which now stands at $3.91 per gallon. (The increase for jet fuel/kerosene at this time last year was 13 cents per gallon.)

For diesel fuel, the new MAP has road diesel at $4.20 per gallon; boilers/generators (used by the Tafuna Power plant) at $3.89 per gallon; commercial fishing vessel at $3.68 per gallon and other marine diesel at $3.81 — an increase of 7 cents per gallon, said Kava.

Regarding the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which is used for eleven new generators at the American Samoa Power Authority’s temporary power generation system (TPGS)  in Satala, the new MAP for boilers/generators is $3.92 per gallon while ULSD road diesel (used by Education Department school buses) is $4.24 per gallon — an increase of 8 cents per gallon, according to the OPM official.