By Steve Thomas

Observer Nevis Editor

(St. Kitts-Nevis) – As oil prices have hit record prices of over US$111 a barrel in the last few weeks and the costs for petroleum products have soared in some areas, the price of gasoline in the Federation has seen a slow price rise.

On Feb. 20, the maximum retail price for gas in the Federation as announced by the Ministry of Finance was as follows;

Delta Service Stations – $12.24 per gallon

Shell Service Stations – $12.71 per gallon

Texaco Service Stations – $13.18 per gallon

The average maximum price was $12.71 gallon.

On March 4, the Ministry of Finance announced the following maximum prices:

Delta Service Stations $13.27 per gallon

Shell Service Stations $13.51 per gallon

Texaco Service Stations $13.18 per gallon

That week, the average price was $13.32 per gallon.

The latest prices announced by the ministry on March 26 are:

Delta Service Stations $13.27 per gallon

Shell Service Stations $13.79 per gallon

Texaco Service Stations $13.46 per gallon

The average price is $13.50 per gallon.

So from Feb. 20 until March 26, the price increase for the average price per gallon has been 89 cents.

The rising prices have many different affects. For those in hauling or commercial transportation, the higher cost per gallon drives up their operating expenses, often putting them in a tight squeeze.

“I can’t just raise my prices (because of higher gas prices),” a truck driver said. “I might lose customers.”

A man filling his car explained his strategy for dealing with higher prices.

“I’m just trying to drive less,” he said.

Depending on what part of the world you’re looking at, gas prices in the Federation might be called moderate.

The latest average price, $13.50 per gallon, equals US$5.01 a gallon. In the U.S., prices hit an all time high, adjusted for inflation, of US$3.28 per gallon.

European drivers have traditionally paid a lot for gas, but they are feeling a real pinch now.

In the U.K., gasoline is now at US$8.07 a gallon. In France, the price has reached US$8.16 a gallon while Germans are paying US$8.53 a gallon.

Then there’s the flip side: in some oil-exporting countries in the Middle East and South America, gas remains well under US$1 a gallon.