Gas prices soaring

    gas prices lead

    Prices at the pump in the Cayman Islands rose by about 10 cents two weeks ago, bringing the price for one gallon of premium gas to over $5.30.

    Though Chief Petroleum Inspector Gary McTaggart explained that it is not always easy to know specifically why gas is increasing or how much the price will rise.

    “Gas prices are impacted by several factors including the price of crude oil, government regulations, taxes, supply and demand, transportation costs, market speculators and competitive conditions, so it’s difficult to point to any one thing that is affecting the market at a given time.”

    World events play a factor.

    “Oil prices are currently increasing because of all the unrest in Egypt, Libya and Bahrain that might affect access to the Suez Canal,” Mr. McTaggart said.

    Oil companies do not set prices at the pump in the Cayman Islands, but can make recommendations on the amount of increases, as the companies themselves are governed by United States anti-trust laws that do not allow price fixing.

    The Cayman Islands consumes the equivalent of about 3,000 to 4,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the Petroleum Inspectorate.

    With gas prices rising and expected to go even higher as summer approaches, consumers are looking for ways to conserve.

    Mr. McTaggart said the time of day someone gets gas makes a difference.

    “Gasoline expands when heated and if you fill up early in the morning, when fuel in the station’s tank is cool, there may be some gain in volume as opposed to when the gasoline warms up later in the day,” he said. Carrying less weight in a vehicle, making sure tyres are properly inflated, not accelerating too hard and economising the use of air conditioning are some simple ways in which gas and money can be saved.

    Tony Brown, manager at Brown’s ESSO, joked that one thing consumers could do to start saving on gas is, “Drive the speed limit”. He explained that the gas business is not necessarily the windfall consumers think it is. “We have to pay eight per cent of every cent that goes through our register to our franchise,” he said. “That is about $18,000 a month, plus rent of about $17,500. Our [electricity bill] is about $12,000 per month and we have about $40,000 in payroll each month. That, in addition to what is happening in the world market, is why we have to charge what we do in the Cayman Islands.”

    The size of Cayman’s population plays a role in gas prices.

    “What we need is more people, so we can have a lesser margin, but now we need a higher margin to make up the profit,” Mr. Brown said.

    gas prices story

    An attendant at a local station motions the way gas prices are going.
    PHOTO: STUART WILSON
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    4 COMMENTS

    1. Time for government to remove their anti-business laws so other people can freely buy and drive electric and solar powered cars. It will stir some opposition from the gas station owners, but something revolutionary has to be done!

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    2. Agreed Bodden. Cayman is a country in one of the best possible positions (due to location, weather and size) for Solar Powered and Electric vehicles to be implemented here…

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    3. Only a few cents/gal. used to move us around–the rest is to move tons of egomanical metal and plastics. Check out the price for the bottles of water sold inside–8/gal. imported from the U.S. Besides, have you ever seen so many huge trucks, SUVs, V8 cars on any other small, flat, snowless island–one person in a vehicle larger than a UPS truck. Gimme electric!

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    4. How is it possible to disagree with the sentiments below?
      I am thinking that these are the people who drive Hummers, Avalanches and suchlike. Yes, you need a big vehicle to tow some of the boats you see, but many of these tanks are not even used for that.
      The only other reason to drive such a car is to be sure you come off better when a drunken/texting/yakking idiot crosses your path.
      Electric cars please!!!

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