11 Sep 2007

Oil companies accused of ripping-off Pacific customers

10:17 am on 11 September 2007

Several oil companies in the Northern Marianas have been sued for allegedly selling consumers less fuel than they paid for.

The Marianas Variety newspaper reports that former Attorney General Douglas Moylan filed the class action suit in the US federal court on Guam.

Those companies named as defendants include subisidiaries of multi nationals, Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Chevron.

The suit alleges that current fuel measurement standards, which measure the volume of fuel at 60 degrees fahrenheit, means the oil companies are selling less fuel than consumers pay for in areas with higher temperatures.

The volume of petroleum products expands as the temperature rises.

Douglas Moylan says that the oil firms have not installed available monitoring equipment that measures the volume of petroleum products while adjusting for actual temperatures.

He said the actual amount of fuel that a consumer obtains at a given price varies widely across retailers and purchases.