Lebanon Businessnews News

Petroleum sector gears up for Thursday strike
Dealers, transporters, and distributors call for updating gasoline pricing scale
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Petroleum dealers, transporters, and distributors are gearing up for a nationwide strike, scheduled for Thursday (March 15), to protest the rising fuel costs and demand higher commissions. The representatives of the petroleum sector are calling for the amendment of the gasoline pricing structure in light of the wage increase decree adopted by the Cabinet last month, and the surge in global oil prices.

The president of the Association of Petroleum Importing Companies, Maroun Chammas, said that the protest demands restructuring the pricing scale for the petroleum sector. Gasoline distribution companies collect $0.2 per each gasoline tank (20 liters).

The president of the Syndicate of Gas Station owners, Sami Brax, said that the tariffs haven’t been updated since 2002, despite the two wage increases of 2008 and 2012. Gas stations receive a fixed fee of around $1 per each tank. They are demanding a profit margin of 7.5 percent per each tank.

According to Ibrahim Sareeni, the president of the Union of Petroleum Transporters, updating the pricing scale is crucial for the sustainability of fuel transportation sector. “The prices of fuel have soared and we can no longer continue to work unless the tariffs are increased,” Sereeni said. Gasoline transporters currently receive $0.18 for each tank.
The price of gasoline, on Wednesday (March) rose to LL36,900 ($24.6) per tank for 98 Octane, and LL36,200 ($24.1) per tank for 95 Octane. But the rise in fuel prices is not due to local factors. The price of oil in the international markets has

There are 13 petroleum importing companies, and around 2500 gas stations operating in Lebanon. According to Chammas, around 1,100 of these are not branded. Chammas said that reducing the number of operating gas stations, through enforcing branding regulations, is one of the possibilities for resolving the crisis.

by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Mar 12, 2012
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