Dec 17 2008

Gas jumps +12¢ outside Shaw AFB, SC

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Three gas stations sit outside Shaw AFB, SC at the only active gate on Route 441. You’ll find a BP station, a Carolina Petro station, and a SuperClean station. Normally, the latter two stations maintain their price for regular at -2¢ below BP. Normally, BP & Carolina Petro charge twelve cents more each for mid-grade and premium, whereas normally SuperClean charges only ten cents more each. Normally, BP dictates the price for a gallon of gas and the other two play follow-the-leader.

This time, though, things got weird.

Over the weekend, SuperClean hiked its price for regular well beyond even BP’s price. I assumed they thought BP would jack up its prices on Monday morning. Yet BP held firm even after Carolina Petro jacked up its prices. This created a bizarre situation with BP selling the cheapest gasoline outside that gate at Shaw AFB up through Tuesday morning.

Oh, and it looks like SuperClean has abandoned the ten-cent addons for mid-grade and premium. They currently charge twelve cents more for each, thus matching their two competitors.

BP finally ratcheted their price by a whopping +12¢ sometime Tuesday. That price jumped above what the other two stations advertised … so naturally, the other two raised their prices in what looks like a classic case of non-competition.

Seriously: I’d like to get my hands on those stations’ tanker delivery logs. The seemingly arbitrary price flucutations disturb me. It’s almost as if they want to gouge military families during the holiday season…