Monday, June 16, 2008

Petronas urges public not to join e-mail campaign

Tuesday June 17, 2008

Petronas urges public not to join e-mail campaign

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas has urged the public not to join an e-mail campaign to boycott its products because it will not affect fuel prices.

Its president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican said Petronas was not the largest retailer of fuel in the country as it only has about 800 stations nationwide.

“Any form of boycott will only hurt the station owners, the small and medium-seized enterprises that supply the stations with their products and the shareholders of Petronas Dagangan – many of whom are pensioners,” he said in an interview.

Petronas stations account for about 30% of fuel sold in the country. The largest retail station owner is Shell with over 1,200 stations.

An e-mail has been circulating calling on the public to boycott Petronas stations and its products. The e-mail claimed that a similar boycott was carried out in the United States against another petroleum company and it succeeded in forcing the company to reduce its prices.

Hassan said that Petronas had no say over fuel prices as they were determined by the Government.

He said Petronas as a corporation would not be unduly affected by such a boycott as Petronas Dagangan accounted for less than 5% of its revenue.

Hassan also said the country had to import 80,000 barrels of petrol every day because the refineries in the country did not produce enough.

“We are an exporter of diesel and jet fuel because of the composition of the Tapis sweet light crude that we produce. Any boycott will only benefit the foreign oil companies who operate here.”

It is learnt that some foreign oil companies own the stations directly from overseas even though they have local units here.

Asked why Petronas was not making more money now that the Government had increased the pump prices, Hassan said oil companies always sells fuel at market rate and it was the Government that paid the subsidies to these firms.

“Our profits remain the same and we do not benefit from any increase or reduction of fuel prices.”

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