Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Oil companies should soften blow to motorists

22 September 2005

Oil companies should soften Rita's blow to NZ motorists

The price of oil is likely to spike next week because of the impact of Hurricane Rita but oil companies should absorb the rise themselves before passing it on to Kiwi motorists, Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Hurricane Rita is likely to seriously reduce US oil production when it makes landfall in Texas in the next couple of days. The National Hurricane Centre predicts it will hit the Texas coast at 1.00am Saturday local time, (6.00pm Saturday, NZ time) then turn inland (see Galveston, a major oil refining centre, is given a 42 percent chance of being hit. There is also a likelihood of oil wells further inland being closed down.

The Texas Coast has four million barrels a day (mbd) of refining capacity. The world currently uses about 84 mbd. Coming on top of Katrina, and the 120 platforms in the Gulf that are still shut down, this will be a major disruption of supply. In previous years the impact of extreme events on oil-producing regions could be mitigated globally by an increase in production elsewhere, but now not even the Saudis have the capacity to cover the loss of Texas.

"The world is currently close to maximum oil production to meet the huge and growing demand from China and India coming on top of the OECD countries, so there simply isn't the slack in the system to accommodate a major oil production region being knocked out," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"So I want to lay down a challenge to New Zealand's oil companies - tighten your belts first, as we have all had to, rather than trying to maintain your very healthy profits by raising prices before the spike has actually reached your bottom line.

"The companies are suspiciously quick to put up the price of petrol as soon as the cost of oil rises, much sooner than the oil in question has rippled through the delivery and refining process. I'm not asking the companies to subsidise motorists, just to keep their margins reasonable during this period.

"New Zealanders also need to be aware that yesterday's current account deficit blow out will push our dollar down. That means that while Rita may make the price of petrol go up, it will be the Kiwi dollar that will stop it from coming down again any time soon," Ms Fitzsimons says. For more information


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Northland’s Covid Case, And Biden’s Battle Lines

The South African variant at the centre of the Northland case of community transmission calls for a reset of several aspects of our Covid response. Some aspects of that reset are overdue. Since the pandemic began, the debate on whether transmission can be (or is mainly) via small aerosols rather than larger droplets has barely been reflected in official health policy, which has focussed largely on the droplets...More>>


National: Leader Of The Opposition’s State Of The Nation Speech

Kia ora and thank you for that welcome. It is a pleasure to be here. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Auckland and the EMA for hosting me at this first event in your centenary year. National and Rotary share many common principles, including community ... More>>


Ministry Of Health: Probable Case Of COVID-19 In A Returnee

The Ministry of Health is investigating a positive test result in a person who recently travelled from overseas and completed their stay in managed isolation in a facility in Auckland. In the case we are investigating and reporting today, the person had ... More>>


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>


USA: Prime Minister Congratulates President Joe Biden On His Inauguration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter ... More>>


Government: New Zealand And China Sign FTA Upgrade

Trade Ministers for New Zealand and China today signed an upgrade to the free trade agreement between the two countries. “This modernises our free trade agreement and ensures it will remain fit for purpose for another decade,” Minister for Trade ... More>>

Oxfam NZ: Wealth Of New Zealand’s Richest Person’s Soars By $3.4bn Since Beginning Of Pandemic

New Zealand’s richest citizen, Graeme Hart, has seen his fortune increase by NZ$3,494,333,333 since March 2020 – a sum equivalent to over half a million New Zealanders receiving a cheque for NZ$6,849 each, reveals a new analysis from Oxfam today. The New Zealand ... More>>


Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>





InfoPages News Channels