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KenolKobil stands firm on price projection

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12- Oil marketer KenolKobil has defended its decision to release fuel price projections for the May/June period saying it has a responsibility to keep consumers informed.

In a response to Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike who hit out at the firm\’s decision as \’irresponsible\’ and \’alarmist\’, KenolKobil\’s General Manager David Ohana said they were just sharing the facts on the current oil situation.

"KenolKobil takes a firm stand that the views which can only be deemed as an attack on us are misguided and are a deliberate effort to distort the facts leading to and diverting attention from the recent PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) shortages in the Kenyan market," the manager said.

On Monday, the dealer warned motorists to brace themselves for tough times as fuel prices were likely to go up by nearly Sh6 per litre of super petrol given the continued unrest in the Middle East and parts of North Africa.

The firm also defended its forecast on the fact that international crude oil prices continue to rise which means that the local pump prices beginning from May 15 to June 14 would be retailing at nearly Sh117 per litre.

But the PS was not happy with KenolKobil\’s action saying they had no authority to pre-empt what the Energy Regulatory Commission would announce come May 14.

"When we met yesterday (on Monday with the other oil marketers), we agreed that the discussion would not go beyond the four walls. I have seen what they said and maybe their figures are based on their rocket science calculations. There is no ownership by anybody," the PS charged.

Such reports are likely to trigger panic-buying which last week complicated efforts to stabilise petrol shortage in Nairobi.

But the dealer was quick to turn the heat on the ministry accusing it of burying its head in the sand in the face of the problems in the entire supply chain and which is partly responsible for the high prices in the pump prices.

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"KenolKobil has noted with concern over the last two weeks attempts by the Ministry of Energy in their briefing to the media to blame an alleged under delivery of 7,000 Metric Tonnes of PMS as being the cause of the recent shortage of PMS in the market," Mr Ohana said.

"We reserve our right of reply without prejudice and wish to set the record straight to all our shareholders and customers," the defiant GM stated.

He called on the government to address the lack of adequate national storage facilities in a bid to ensure the future sufficient supply of petroleum products in the market.

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