Shell, Esso raise fuels prices

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Fuel retailers Shell and Esso will raise gasoline prices on products in Argentina, the companies announced in separate statements.

Shell's Regular gasoline will increase 3.4% to 0.907 pesos/liter, super gasoline will increase 4.9% to 1.062 pesos/liter and ultra V-Power will increase 4.5% to 1.172 pesos/liter. Diesel fuel prices will remain the same.

Esso's Energy 8000 diesel will increase 5.6% to 1.172 pesos/liter, Super gasoline will increase 6.3% to 1.062 pesos/liter, Regular gasoline will increase 3.4% to 0.907 pesos/liter and Energy diesel will increase 4.9% to 0.597 pesos/liter.

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The price rise follows a currency devaluation and last week's government decision to impose a 20% tax on crude exports and a 5% tax on derivatives exports.

The government plans to continue talks with oil industry officials on the local market and fuel prices.

Oil companies would like taxes on gasoline to be reduced in order to help keep down prices.

President Eduardo Duhalde said on Monday that the government would not permit a significant rise in fuels prices.

"Last Friday the government asked for prudence, and we said that for 45 days after the devaluation, the sales prices for the public have not been modified. We are going to have that same prudence in the next few days when there is an increase in prices," Shell VP Juan Jose Aranguren said, Noticias Argentinas reported.

The leading fuels retailer in Argentina, Repsol-YPF, has not changed prices yet.