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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, Mar. 31) - Mobil Oil Micronesia increased fuel prices to its dealers here effective this week — its second price increase in the past two months.

The price at the pump now ranges from a low of $2.66 to a high of $2.90 a gallon, with low-priced stations expected to increase prices once they begin buying fuel at the higher price.

The new dealer price for gasoline is $2.285 a gallon, a 5-cent increase. Mobil raised its prices in Majuro by 5 cents on Feb. 15.

Mobil’s wholesale price to dealers in Majuro is higher than the retail price paid at the pump in neighboring islands of Pohnpei and Chuuk, which are also serviced by the same Guam-based Mobil Oil tanker.

"The increase is a result of continued higher product cost due to higher prices of petroleum products," said Bernadette Valencia, Mobil’s retail manager on Guam.

"Gasoline prices have continued to rise since Nov. 2002. We have seen an increase of over 30 cents per gallon since November. Obviously, the present world events and the concerns on future world supply have lead to an increase in local gasoline prices."

She said Mobil understands "that customers don’t like to see price increases. Regrettably, we have no alternative but to pass on some of the increase of product cost to the consumers."

In the wake of Mobil’s latest five cent increase on gas in Majuro, two local dealers are responding with retail increases, while two have maintained their prices.

Ace’s One Stop increased its gas price from $2.75 per gallon to $2.81 and its diesel price from $2.70 to $2.75 a gallon. Robert Reimers Enterprises gas station hiked its price 5 cents to match the Mobil increase, going from $2.85 a gallon to $2.90 a gallon. Diesel also went up from $2.70 to $2.75, and kerosene rose from $2.65 to $2.70.

Two other stations have held the price at $2.66 and $2.67 per gallon, but are expected to increase their prices once they begin buying gas from Mobil at the higher rate.

March 31, 2003

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