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Stop the Tau Lau bus

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Editor,

I am getting off the “tau lau bus” to try something new.

I think your readers in Tonga would like to know why they are paying what they are paying for a liter of petrol at the gas station.

This was my brief to the Governor and the people of American Samoa this morning on National TV. The report covers the month of August to and including the month of October 2006. I’ll adapt the report to cover fuel price in Tonga.

Conceptually, we , the consumer start paying for Crude Oil from the OPEC countries that is sold to refineries in Singapore. Singapore refineries sell their Refined Products (Diesel, Mogas, Jet/Kero) Oil Suppliers in the Pacific, Mobil Oil South West Pacific (Mobil) and BP South West Pacific(BP) that transport the products in 30,000 Metric Ton MR Tankers that takes the fuel to Vuda and Suva in Fiji and Pago Pago, American Samoa. A smaller Local Coastal Tanker (LCT) picks up fuel in Fiji for delivery to Tonga, Raro Tonga, Niue and other small island in the Pacific. Government adds fees, taxes and rents to the price of fuel as it arrives in its port.

Here is the a price template to determine the Whole Sale Price for Gasoline (Mogas or Petrol). This price is effective November 1, 2006.

Crude Oil: $60/bbl
At the Refinery: $1.49/gallon
Transportation cost $0.14/gallon
On Shore Cost $0.68/gallon
Total Wholesale Price: $2.31/gallon

Owners at the Gas Station usually adds $0.45/gallon. It is estimated that the cost of Mogas/gallon for American Samoa effective tomorrow (November 01, 2006) is equal to the Whole Sale plus the Mark Up at the Gas Station. It is estimated that the consumers will pay about $2.76/gallon.

Compared to neighboring islands (All Prices in US Dollars per Gallon).

Hawaii: US $2.83/gallon
Fiji US $4.98/gallon
Apia US $3.60/gallon
Tonga: US $5.14/gallon
AmSam US $2.76/gallon.

The American Samoa Government does not subsidize the cost of fuel.

It will be nice to see a similar break down form the competent Authority at the Ministry of Labor in Tonga. We can then begin to understand why is Tonga’s fuel the most expensive in the Pacific.

Respectfully.

Mafi ‘o Amerika Samoa Lousiale Kava
Petroleum Officer
American Samoa Government

slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com