Will petrol prices fall?

Friday December 05, 2014 Written by Published in Economy

The Cook Islands may receive a welcome Christmas present of lower petrol prices as a result of the global trend of reduction in the price of crude oil.

In a release yesterday from the Cook Islands Price Tribunal, they said they are aware of the global trend of reduction in the price of crude oil which started around July 2014. 

It is expected for the downward price trend to continue with the market expectation of the price of crude oil to reach as low as USD $50 a barrel. 

“For the Cook Islands this trend means that we should see prices of fuel to gradually go down as a result of fuel companies being able to pass the savings onto the consumers. 

“However, it is expected for the benefits of the lower oil prices to take some time to take effect due to the length of the supply chain and appreciation of the NZ dollar in relation to the US dollar. 

The positive news is that we have started seeing effects already with the reduction in the price of Diesel (ADO) by 11 cents a litre which represents a reduction of over 5 per cent, states the release.

“Cook Islands Price Tribunal continues to closely monitor fuel price movements in the Cook Islands. 

“Price Tribunal receives information and verifies prices on every shipment of fuel in the country and when the prices go down immediately passes these savings to the consumers. 

Price Tribunal is expecting to see further reductions in fuel prices in the near future.

Meanwhile, a joint proposal to supply Rarotonga with bulk fuel from a large tanker through an “over the reef” pipeline is continuing to work and is back with developers to work on environmental concerns. 

National Environmental Service manager of advisory and compliance division Vavia Tangatataia said the proposal has gone through the review phase, and is back with developers Transam Cook Islands to work on the environmental concerns highlighted during the review process.

“Once this is complete we will release the proposal to the public.”

Pacific Islands Energy - a foreign-based firm currently supplying jet fuel for the aviation industry and diesel for energy utility Te Aponga - and overseas shipping company Petrocean are backing the plan, which they say will result in cheaper fuel for consumers.

The proposal has been going through a public consultation process and undergoing an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

The proposal by shipping company Petrocean is for a MR (medium range) fuel tanker mooring and pipeline.

The proposal could offer lower costs associated with bulk delivery and handling of fuel when compared to current means of supply.

A tanker routinely passes the Cook Islands to deliver fuel to Tahiti, which could potentially stop en-route to deliver fuel for the local market – resulting in cheaper petrol prices for consumers.

According to a recent report by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Cook Islanders pay some of the highest retail prices for petrol and diesel in the Pacific Region.

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