‘People are struggling out here’

At $6.41 a gallon, gas prices now the highest they’re ever been

A Mobil Oil Marianas price display shows the new prices of fuel on Saipan. (KIMBERLY ESMORES)

The price of fuel in the CNMI is now historically the highest it’s ever been, with a gallon of regular fuel now at an astonishing $6.41 and a full tank of gas now costs between $77 and $96.

This comes soon after gas prices went up yesterday morning by another 15 cents, led by Mobil Oil Marianas, which raised its regular fuel price from $6.26 for a gallon of its Extra fuel to $6.41. The oil company also hiked Its Supreme fuel from $6.71 per gallon to $6.86 while diesel is now $7.08 from $6.98.

Shell Marianas is expected to implement a similar increase today. Both oil companies typically mirror each other’s price fluctuations.

For the past few weeks, CNMI fuel prices have been seesawing between increases and decreases. Prior to yesterday’s increase, oil companies across the CNMI raised prices by 15 cents on May 20 and, prior to that, by 15 cents last May 6. Last April 20, the CNMI saw a steep increase of 20 cents, with local oil companies increasing regular fuel prices to $5.96 a gallon.

The CNMI saw its first fuel increase of the year back on Jan. 5.

A 24-year-old local motorist said the only way she could describe how she felt after learning of yet another increase was sad.

“It’s just so sad that it’s looking like this is the new normal, a continuous increase in fuel prices. I am at a loss for words. This is the highest anyone has ever seen fuel in the Marianas,” she said.

Another motorist said she hopes that either fuel prices go down, or some kind of assistance is rendered to help those who are still in recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19.

“There are still a lot of people recovering from the pandemic and now we’re hit with these insane gas prices. Something has to give, either the price of fuel or some sort of assistance. People are struggling out here, myself included,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.