Exxonmobil secures 7-Eleven fuels supply contract

Mobil Oil Australia Pty Ltd (Mobil) is pleased to announce that it has secured the contract to supply all of 7-Eleven’s petrol and diesel fuel requirements from January 1, 2012.

Mobil currently has a long term agreement to supply the fuel for the service stations 7-Eleven acquired from us last year. The remainder of 7-Eleven’s network is currently supplied under an agreement with another fuel supplier which concludes at the end of 2011. Earlier this year 7-Eleven started to consider their options for future supply and invited Mobil to tender for this part of their business also. Mobil has been successful in what proved to be a very competitive tender process.

The new agreement with 7-Eleven will significantly increase Mobil’s wholesale fuel sales in Australia. It will have flow-on benefits for our Altona refinery and distribution terminals in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and demonstrates that Mobil continues to be a vigorous competitor in the Australian wholesale fuel market.

Mobil looks forward to building a strong alliance with 7-Eleven over time which will provide the opportunity for further business growth for both parties.

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FreshDirect Will Limit Idling Time for Trucks.

FreshDirect, which uses 150 diesel-powered trucks to deliver groceries that customers order over the Internet, is outfitting its fleet with shutoff systems that will keep the trucks from idling longer than permitted by city law.

But a FreshDirect senior vice president said the upgrade would not affect the equipment that has led to occasional complaints about the company — a smaller motor that runs refrigeration equipment to keep the food fresh. The new equipment will shut off only the engine that powers the drive train. The two operate separately.

The state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced Friday that his office and FreshDirect, based in Long Island City, Queens, had reached an agreement on installing the shutoff equipment after an investigation into consumer complaints that FreshDirect trucks were violating anti-idling laws.

A statement from Mr. Cuomo said the investigation documented at least 30 cases of illegal idling by FreshDirect trucks. Under state law, trucks and buses cannot idle for more than five minutes at a time. New York City limits idling time to three minutes, and in areas near schools, it is no more than 60 seconds.

FreshDirect, which averages 7,000 deliveries a day, has agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty for violating state and city anti-idling laws, the statement said. It said the penalty had been $120,000, but $70,000 had been suspended contingent on the company’s compliance.

Mr. Cuomo said that besides affecting public health and the environment, idling wastes fuel: an average of 30,000 gallons of gasoline and 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the city every day.

Jim Moore, FreshDirect’s senior vice president for business affairs, said the company has had experience with engine-control technology. It has the equipment on 20 to 25 trucks, the newest in its fleet. The engine turns off if the vehicle remains in park for more than three minutes.

The company promised that any new trucks would come with the equipment.

Mr. Moore said the company had received complaints about idling since its trucks hit the streets in 2002. He said the company had looked into those complaints and concluded that they stemmed from noise made by the refrigeration engines. Those are not covered by the agreement with Mr. Cuomo.

INDIA : Government raises petrol, diesel prices

NEW DELHI: Prices of petrol and diesel have been raised for the first time in 20 months to ease losses at state-run retailers squeezed by a surge in crude oil prices while having to sell fuels cheaply, Oil Minister Murli Deora said on Thursday.

The government raised the price of petrol by Rs 2 a litre, and diesel by Re 1 a litre and would be effective from midnight.

State oil firms have to sell widely consumed fuels at a discount to protect poor consumers and help curb inflation.

The government did not increase prices in 2007 even though crude rose by more than 50 per cent in the year and topped $100.

Oil prices have been volatile through the year and has been hovering around $91 a barrel this week. This has put major pressure on public sector oil companies whose under-recoveries is estimated at Rs 71,800 crore in 2007-08.

As retail prices of auto fuel has been protected from this volatility for more than a year, there is a strong case for fuel price hike.

Sources said the petroleum ministry has been also pressing for a duty restructuring to provide immediate relief to public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) that are currently losing Rs 9.2 per litre on petrol, Rs 10.94 per litre diesel, Rs 331.34 per cylinder on domestic LPG and Rs 19.89 per litre on PDS kerosene.

Presently, 42.7% of the OMCs under-realisation is met by the government through issuance of oil bonds. It is likely that the government may increase this percentage, a source said. Even public sector upstream companies also share the burden. A 33% of the burden is currently being shared by ONGC, OIL and Gail, while balance is borne by the OMCs; IOC, BPCL and HPCL.

Planning Commission had made a case for increasing prices of petrol and diesel arguing that it was not a good idea to check inflation by keeping prices of petroleum products low.

“If the oil prices remain high on a sustained basis, it will have to be passed on to the consumers…I don’t believe keeping oil prices low is a good way of controlling inflation”, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in New Delhi on December 4.

The government has refrained from increasing domestic prices of petroleum goods because of political considerations especially forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat, though the crude oil prices in the international market reached near $100 per barrel. The prices, however, later softened to $93 per barrel.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan at a meeting of the Planning Commission last month expressed concern over rising subsidy bill towards food, fertiliser and petroleum products and said it would go up to Rs 1 lakh crore during the current financial year.

Increasing prices of petrol and diesel also assumes significance in view of the huge losses being incurred by the state-owned oil marketing companies like Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum.

Taking note of the mounting losses, international credit rating agency Moody’s on Monday downgraded the rating outlook of the blue chip oil major IOC from stable to negative.

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