Gas Diplomacy

June 16, 2009 (LBO) – The Netherland’s envoy to Sri Lanka has raised concerns about the government pricing of liquefied petroleum gas of top Dutch firm Shell Gas, consumer affairs minister Bandula Gunewardene said. Shell has previously attracted criticism for charging high fees for its terminal complex.

The minister said he had promised a meeting with the Treasury and other stakeholders after Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns from a state visit to Myanmar. In Sri Lanka cooking gas prices are raised on a delayed bi-monthly formula which was ordered by the island’s Supreme Court.

Minister Gunewardene said the Dutch envoy has expressed his unhappiness at the way gas was priced. Shell Gas is part of the Royal Dutch group.

The formula was ordered by court but it is moderated by a group of experts.

During the last price revision on April 30, Shell Gas was allowed to increase the price of its 12.5 kilogram cylinder by 191 rupees to 1,500 rupees and that of a local supplier Laugfs Gas by 238 rupees to 1,307 rupees.

At the time officials said Laugfs costs were higher because it was a smaller firm and a higher profit margin was granted to the firm.

Laugfs gets most of its gas fro