INTEROIL president Bill Jasper has moved to dispel what he termed “a serious misconception” about the factors effecting local fuel prices.
Mr Jasper was responding to recent media reports arguing that refined
fuels ought to be cheaper in Papua New Guinea because it produces significant quantities of crude oil.
“In a perfect world, that might be the case,” he said.
“However, the economic realities under which we operate are at odds with this Utopian notion.”
Mr Jasper said about 45% of InterOil’s crude purchases was of PNG-produced Kutubu, sourced locally.
“The fact is that this crude is sold internationally to the highest bidder, whether it is our organisation or any other oil refiner operating anywhere in the world.
“We receive no special deals or discounts because we are a local company.
“We pay the full price as determined by the international marketplace,” he said.
Mr Jasper said this month’s fuel prices, as detailed by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, was a case in point.
The pump price of all refined fuels has fallen slightly throughout PNG.
Diesel is down about 5%, petrol 6% and kerosene has dropped 4%.
“Overall it is very welcome news for our retail, commercial and government customers,” he said.
“But it must be remembered that these price changes result from downward pressure exerted by the international marketplace.
“As with crude oil, the price of refined fuels is set internationally and beyond the control of the Government, the ICCC or ourselves,” he said.