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BP Responds To Deputy PM

For Immediate Release
26 July 2000

BP RESPONDS TO DEPUTY
PRIME MINISTER

BP’s Managing Director Peter Griffiths says Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton is being selective with his facts over why petrol is more expensive now than it was in February.

“At a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister two months ago we explained how BP prices petrol. We told Mr Anderton that crude oil is only one factor in our decision to change petrol prices and that the cost of buying refined petrol also has a major effect on prices. At the moment, these refined costs are at all-time highs.”

Today a barrel of refined (ready-to-go) petrol costs about NZ$80 a barrel, up NZ$13 since the end of February - a 19% increase.

“So, while Mr Anderton is correct in saying crude has dropped in recent days after a period of steady rises, what he has not bothered to mention is that refined costs have skyrocketed since February. BP is paying more now for refined petrol than five months ago,” Mr Griffiths said. The weak NZ dollar has added about 4 cents to petrol costs during this period.

Mr Griffiths said BP offers motorists excellent value throughout New Zealand which currently enjoys some of the lowest petrol prices in the world.


On the question of why Gull has lower prices in some places, Mr Griffiths said Gull’s current prices are to be expected of a new entrant trying to build its market share and are unlikely to be sustained long-term.

“Mr Anderton should also remember that unlike Gull, BP employs around 2,000 people - including about 1800 on BP service stations. Our rebranding programme reflects our company’s continued commitment to New Zealand. The money we spend rebranding our service stations will flow directly into the economy by providing work for many contractors and small businesses - which I would have thought Mr Anderton would welcome.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Jane Diver, Communications Manager
Phone: 04 495 5656
Pager: 026 105 169
Mobile: 025 575 668

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