Fuel suppliers in dispute

| 16/10/2008

(CNS): According to the Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts, Cayman’s two oil wholesalers are currently in dispute over a number of issues, and the government will intervene if they cannot sort out their differences. Tibbetts said that in the past few weeks ESSO had increased the fee it charges Texaco to store its fuel at the offload facility at South Sound, which he considered unfair.

The internal dispute resulted in an increase at the Texaco fuel stations, even though the price of oil was falling on the world markets. And while the worldwide cost of fuel is falling, pump prices in Cayman are still hovering around $5 per gallon. However, Tibbetts said prices were coming down and that trend should continue over the coming weeks.

“The fact of matter is that the government regulations will cause all wholesalers to make a request for a change in price,” he said.

He explained that discussions were ongoing with the two local oil wholesale over their internal issues and government would intervene if the two firms were not able to settle things among themselves. He confirmed the two oil suppliers were meeting with government next week.

Tibbetts also said that he expected to see a fall in the fuel factor charged by CUC to its customers as they moved into the next price cycle.

“CUC pays an agreed price to the supplier every two months, so it only gets a new price every two months and when that new price kicks in the bills should go down,” he said.

Tibbetts added that the government was considering every option with regards to addressing fuel costs including price fixing.

Both local oil suppliers criticized the recent government decisions to try and introduce price controls. Alan Neesome Country Manager of Esso said the new regulation, which will see the government’s petroleum inspectorate decide price changes, goes against the principles of a free market and would not address the problem of escalating fuel costs.

“Competition is to the benefit of all consumers and governments must promote equal treatment among market players, industries, technologies and favour policies that enhance competitiveness,” he said.

However, with fuel costs in the United States falling as low as US$3.00 per gallon, some drivers have called Cayman’s average pump price of CI$5.00 excessive.




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  1. Anonymous says:

    Simple question from a not very intelligent or worldly person: why is it with oil prices per barrel dropping hugely in world markets in recent weeks, we are seeing no, repeat no, relief here in Cayman, and I, at least, am not seeing any daily/weekly comment from Government why this is so? Am I missing something? Ozzie writes a letter bemoaning the prices but he’s a member of the Government for heaven’s sake. Or is that part of the problem?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Brac Prices Never Go Down!

    Even though we Get a Concessions, in fact we the consumers are being Sucked Dry from the Merchants Here!

    Duty Free Concession for Building Materials, Have you seen the Benifits here in theBrac as Consumers? NO, NO, NO, Never! Our politians know this but I suppose "They are looking out for the people of Cayman Brac, Yeah Right or Could it Be the Big Nasty Thompson Shipping Line who is secretly Causing All this Choas?????mmmmmm….

    We the poor residents of Cayman Brac have no one to turn to even down to a gallon of Milk which is essential to our childrens diet is CI$8.79!!!

    Can SomeOne With "Eyes Open" Save Us…

    Disgusted Bracker!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why was Cayman Brac also made a victim of this? Prices went up in Cayman Brac also even though fuel here has nothing to do with Esso. In Cayman Brac gas is $5.20 a gallon but customs duty is at a lower rate than Grand Cayman

  4. Ebanks the Plumber says:

    I’m currently in the Eastern USA paying $2.89 a (US) gallon.  That converts to CI$2.89 an imperialgallon.  However, don’t forget that we in Cayman purchase gas on the "spot" market which is not a true indicator of present prices.  Big consumers like the US can negotiate with refineries and purchase futures.  Small consumers like Cayman have prices dictated to us.

    Oh, and we also pay a lot more in fuel taxes.

  5. Knal N. Domp says:

    I am on record (the now defunct MR) for dissing Government’s attempts to "regulate" the fuel supply industry in Cayman, but in light of the current moves internationally by governments in strategic industries (such as the money and credit provision business) and the pressure on Joe Cayman to make ends meet, I would now recommend a "light touch" involvement by Government in the fuel industry by calling for and publishing both Texaco’s and Esso’s statement of component costs that makes up the cost per gallon of gasoline and diesel as delivered to retail outlets and to CUC. This would no doubt make for interesting reading…