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Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas — gas prices down

Motorists in the territory should see a big drop in retail gasoline prices once the new maximum allowable price (MAP), or wholesale price goes into effect tomorrow, and the decrease comes just in time for the holiday season, when many shoppers will be on the road to find that bargain-priced gift.

“Santa is kind to us this holiday. I hope the gas station owners will make this a better holiday by going under the $4 per gallon gasoline,” said Sione Kava, the petroleum officer with the Office of Petroleum Management (OPM). 

Average retail price for the territory is about $4.13 per gallon and Samoa News has received complaints from customers, who have claimed many times that most gas stations do not drop their prices until their previous supply is all used up.

However, when there is a hike in the price, gas stations quickly increase the price, even though the previous supply is not used up.

The new MAP for gasoline is $3.59 a decrease of 14 cents per gallon, said Kava adding that the price in Hawai’i is around $3.95 per gallon as of early this week.

Yesterday’s national average on gasoline is $3.26 while crude oil price was around $100  a barrel of crude oil, a $3 increase from the day before, according to the website, which also states there are 15 gas station on Oahu island selling between $3.84 and $3.88 per gallon.

For jet fuel and kerosene, it’s a drop of 5 cents per gallon, bringing the new MAP to $3.86 per gallon, said Kava.

The new MAP has road diesel at $4.11 per gallon; boilers/generators (used by the Tafuna Power plant) at $3.79 per gallon; commercial fishing vessel diesel at $3.57 per gallon and other marine diesel at $3.71 — a decrease of 5 cents per gallon, said Kava.

Regarding the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which is used for the eleven new generators at the American Samoa Power Authority’s temporary power generation system (TPGS) in Satala, the new MAP for boilers/generators is $3.84 per gallon while ULSD road diesel is $4.16 per gallon — also a 5 cent decrease, he said.

“The reduction is largely due to a drop in the crude oil caused by the good news of Iraq getting back to production. Also, conservation of gas due to the economic downturn leaves a lot of suppliers out there with declining demand,” said Kava.

Although the prices are going down, Kava reminds drivers to continue to conserve, by driving only when necessary, taking the bus, walking and car pooling.