Gas Wars

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

When you've seen $2.90 plus gas all over mid-Michigan, a $2.74/per gallon price is enough to u-turn over.

In St. Johns, it's old hat.

"Ever since Walmart came to town," says Joe Yock, buying gas Friday at the local Shell.

That Shell station owner, Ross Blodgett, says Walmart and it's partner oil company, Murphy, have controlled prices in the area since they arrived.

IT is great news for customers because prices have been low.

"The problem is the smaller players can't sustain that for a long period of time," says Michigan Petroleum Association President Mark Griffin. He says at today's oil prices, a station breaks even at $2.95. Murphy, he says, can beat that because they're so big.

"They are doing that to drive others from the marketplace."

He says it is likely gas stations will close, and then, prices at Murphy will go up.

A spokesperson for Walmart didn't return out calls in time for publication.


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  • by Carl Location: St. Johns on Aug 21, 2007 at 10:22 AM
    Hard to believe Murphy Oil setting prices because they are so big. Murphy has a market capitalization of $11 billion, Marathon(don't they own speedway?) $34 billion. According to their respective 2006 annual reports, net earning for Murphy was $638 million to Marathons $5,234 million. In contrast Dutch Royal Shell earnings for just the 4th quarter 2006 was $5,283 million.
  • by Jon Location: St Johns on Aug 20, 2007 at 12:24 PM
    Walmart finally made the gas prices equal or better then other towns. StJohns has always has higher prices then any other town around including the smaller ones like Fowler. The only competition for the multiple Speedway stations in town was Shell and BP which were always a cent or two higher anyway. No more do I wait and go to Lansing for gas if I am in St Johns.
  • by bev Location: coldwater on Aug 20, 2007 at 08:59 AM
    gas wars will still not bring gas prices down enough to change things around to fairness. gas prices are just hurting to many people.and to many business are raising there costs to cover what they pay. god help us all.
  • by C Location: St Johns on Aug 20, 2007 at 02:13 AM
    It's about time that someone in St Johns gave the gas stations some competition. Wal-Mart is the best thing to happen to us in a long time. For the longest time, the gas prices in St. Johns were outrageous. Now that Wal-Mart is here it makes the owner(s) of the Stations in St.Johns not be able to take advantage of us.
  • by Pam Location: Jackson on Aug 19, 2007 at 05:43 PM
    I wonder if Wal-Mart would honor their promise of the lowest price on all products. That low price should be honored at all of their stores.
  • by ann Location: St. Johns on Aug 18, 2007 at 08:31 PM
    I can't say I feel sorry for the other gas stations. For quite sometime the (3) Speedway Stations in St. Johns set the price higher than any other towns in the area. Its nice to finally be able to buy gas in St. Johns instead of Lansing all the time.
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