Bahamas Petroleum Dealers Association Vice President Vasco Bastian yesterday said Esso’s wholesaler, Sol Petroleum, dropped the cost per gallon of gas by $0.43 to alleviate the burden on Bahamian motorists.
Earlier this week, the price of gas per gallon at Esso service stations peaked at $7.39. The price of gas per gallon dropped to $6.96 yesterday, making it the lowest on the island right now behind Shell’s $6.97 per gallon and Rubis’ $6.98 per gallon.
“Esso was able to buy gas at lower prices, so they passed that on to the consumers, that’s what happened with the price change. With a price change it either goes up or it goes down, and in this case it went down and Esso was able to pass that price on to the consumers,” he said
“Sales at Esso had declined by 50 percent because our customers have become very price conscious over the last few months. But Esso has been working behind the scenes, trying to get the best prices for the Bahamian people. I can say my sales declined by 50 percent at my service station, and if it declined at my service station, I can go on record to say it’s probably the same at all the other Essos, based on my conversations with the other dealers.”
Oil prices apexed above $130 per barrel at the beginning of 2022, as the War in Ukraine began and world leaders sanctioned Russia, one of the largest producers of oil in the world.
Despite escalating prices, the government has said it will not increase profit margins for gas retailers, as has been requested.
Petroleum dealers have since been in ongoing discussions with the government to determine the best way to bring relief to motorists, but have failed to publicly articulate a plan.
Bastian said, however, that he believes market conditions will improve in the near term.
“I have a funny feeling that prices will start to trend down, because I’m starting to see oil prices trend down. And with the new talks by the US government regarding the lifting of the embargo. If you see the United States was able to lift that embargo on Venezuelan oil, you will have gas prices in the region down by 25 percent,” he said.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Philip Davis said The Bahamas would likely experience “a very significant” decrease in the cost of fuel if the United States lifts its sanctions and allows Venezuela to export oil to the Caribbean.
Venezuela has the largest amount of oil reserves in the world, with more than 300 billion barrels in reserve.