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APIA, Samoa (May 26, 1998 - PACNEWS)---British Petroleum (BP) will leave Samoa after losing authorization to conduct business here to its competitor, Mobil Oil.

BP also is demanding compensation from the Samoan government for awarding Mobil Oil exclusive rights to import and sell all petroleum products in the country effective August 1.

"BP is extremely disappointed that the Government is forcing us to leave the market after 27 years of responsible trading and investment in Samoa," BP South-West Pacific General Manager Craig Fullerton said in a statement.

BP will seek compensation for assets worth up to $S 20 million ($US 6.68 million) which, he said, the government encouraged them to invest in, as well as contracts already signed with Samoa customers.

Among the contracts is one with Polynesian Airlines for aviation fuel. It is not due to expire until the end of 1999.

Meantime, the General Manager of Mobil South West Pacific, David Robinson, said as part of their contract Mobil will upgrade and expand the local tank farm and improve bunkering facilities for vessels.

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