The Minister of Economic Affairs commented on the cutback in oil production announced by Saudi Arabia and its impact on The Bahamas.

Sen. Hon. Michael Halkitis told members of the media, “there is a cartel of producers so we have to see if other countries within that cartel increase their production to ramp up, to make up that difference. Also we have to look at the fact that what’s happening in terms of the world’s economy. If its slowing, for example, if China’s not growing as fast as it has been traditionally then that will affect their demand. So it would be a formulation of what other countries do and how the global economy is performing and what the demand is for fuel.”

Also commenting on the fuel production cuts was Vice President of the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association Vasco Bastian who said, “we might have had oil in waiting, for example, that we would have bought a month ago, a month and a half ago so that might not affect us right away. That might not affect us until say mid July or early August because you know gas prices and gas purchases are always bought on the futures market. So what you tend to do is when the price of oil is like $80 a barrel or $60 a barrel and they see it might drop or it may go higher big countries and buyers around the world would say lock in a price whether its $70 barrel.”

The petroleum retailers have been requesting approval from the government for an increase in their fixed profit margin for some time. To date their has been no approval given as government officials are reluctant for gas prices to increase at the pumps.