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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (August 4, 1997)---The short-term diesel fuel shortage experienced by American Samoa's Gataivai Tank Farm was alleviated last Friday with the arrival of a tanker carrying over 150,000 barrels of fresh fuel.

The shortage affected fishing vessels coming into port to unload catches and then refuel before heading back out to sea. The vessels' fuel needs had to be rationed, but the shortage did not affect local power plants or gas pumps around the Territory.

BHP Petroleum's Operations Manager, Taulapapa William Sword, told the Samoa News that the tank farm has more than enough diesel for electricity and other demands until the next scheduled fuel shipment arrives on August 14.

The sudden shortage, Taulapapa said, was due to an unexpected, "almost 50% jump in demand" from fishing vessels which were returning to port sooner than expected.

Western Samoa's daily newspaper, the Samoa Observer, reported last week that one or two purse-seiners had gone there for fueling rather than put up with BHP's rationing in American Samoa.

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