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The Wall Street Journal: Oil Cos In Singapore Cut Gasoline Prices To Mark Holiday

The Wall Street Journal: Oil Cos In Singapore Cut Gasoline Prices To Mark Holiday


August 6, 2004 5:04 a.m.

Posted 7 August 04

SINGAPORE (AP)–Oil prices struck yet another record high Friday, but some of the world’s largest energy companies are busy cutting gasoline prices in Singapore to mark the Southeast Asian city-state’s independence day.

ExxonMobil (XOM), Shell (RD) and Caltex (CXX.YY) have all slashed prices at the pump by 12% as the Aug. 9 National Day holiday approaches, allowing motorists to fill up their tanks more cheaply even as energy costs on world markets are soaring amid concerns about supply.

The market for gasoline sales in Singapore is intensely competitive, and price discounts by one operator tend to be quickly matched by its rivals.

“We are just giving customers a competitive offer,” a spokesman for ExxonMobil Singapore said Friday.

The U.S.-based company has 77 outlets in the island country, the largest network. After the 12% reduction, premium gasoline at its pumps costs S$1.498 a liter.

Companies in Singapore often try to cause a splash – and ride the upswell of patriotic sentiment – for the modern state’s birthday celebrations, which this year mark 39 years as an independent state.

The “discount for National Day is a timely opportunity for us to demonstrate we are here to stay,” Caltex retail manager Teri Khoo told the Business Times newspaper Friday.

-Edited by George Bernard

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