Repsol admits to lowering gas-pump prices on Mondays

Oil firm denies practice is aimed at skewing official statistics

Drivers wait in line at a Repsol gas station.
Drivers wait in line at a Repsol gas station.CRISTÓBAL MANUEL

Spanish oil and gas company Repsol has finally admitted what many motorists in Spain already knew to be true: that the prices at their pumps are lower on Mondays. The firm denied, however, that this practice has anything to do with the fact that this is the day that official statistics regarding prices are registered, as the National Energy Commission has suspected for some time, but rather that it is all down to their “commercial strategy.”

According to a statement released by the company on Thursday, Repsol has been trying to “reduce the cost of gas on Monday, which is the day when most professionals within the transport sector fill their tanks ahead of a week of activity.”

What seems strange about this, of course, is the fact that Repsol has never advertised such a practice nor drawn attention to it before.

The news comes just a couple of weeks after the National Competition Commission launched an investigation into possible anti-competitive practices in the sector, which included raids on the headquarters of several oil firms.

Repsol also announced on Wednesday that it would be selling gas at its lowest prices on Fridays during July and August.

“The measure will be applied to the months of the year with the highest number of trips made by private vehicles on the highways,” the company said in its statement.

The offer of cheap prices at the pumps on Fridays will be rolled out to all of the group’s brands in Spain, which includes Repsol, Campsa and Petronor. For the gas stations they directly own, which number 2,522, the prices will be obligatory. At the remainder, which are franchises, Repsol says it will leave the choice up to each gas station as to which prices to apply.

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