Over 50 gas stations across New Jersey and Pennsylvania have raised the price of their fuel to more than eight dollars a gallon. They are all Lukoil stations, and their owners have raised prices in protest of practices by Lukoil North America that they say leave individual gas station owners at a competitive disadvantage.

According to a report by the Huffington Post (full disclosure: HP is also owned by Autoblog parent AOL), the protest is a response to the high prices that Lukoil apparently charges its franchise owners for fuel. The owners of the gas stations contend that they are paying more for delivery than what competing stations are charging to the public.

Sal Risalvato is a member of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association, and is one of the owners frustrated with Lukoil. "They essentially sell the very same gasoline to stations in close proximity of each other at different prices in order to game the market and compete with other gasoline brands," says Risalvato. The result of this practice, he claims, is pricing that may differ by as much as 25 cents a gallon between a given Lukoil station and a nearby competitor. In a business where some people drive miles out of the way for the cheapest gas prices, the effects of that disparity can be massive.

Protesting Lukoil franchise owners have upped their gas prices to eight dollars a gallon and beyond to raise awareness for these practices. Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer, first arrived in the U.S. in 2003. Today there are more than 500 stations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      "They essentially sell the very same gasoline to stations in close proximity of each other at different prices in order to game the market and compete with other gasoline brands," In another article about gas prices for consumers it would fit right in when describing profit-taking by station owners after a gas-price spike, then very slow drop in pricing. Just sub out 'to stations' with 'to drivers'
      • 2 Years Ago
      They're not protesting... they are just ahead of the curve on gas prices.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who is buying gas from them?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well I sure hope the liberal nutjobs are buying it. You know the ones who say it'd be good for gas to be 6 or 8 bucks a gallon so they can save the world.
          • 2 Years Ago
          actually on the local news there were a bunch of non-white people STILL pumping gas - the one guy warned the other guy after pumping 6 gallons at $9.87 per gallon. The other guy was like " OH WOW".. then they both went across the street to BP. I can't believe that people are THAT STUPID to not look at the HUGE sign that says $9.88 and then even at the pump it states it as well. Just plain stupid if you ask me. If people don't look at the price they are paying - it serves them right for paying that much. I feel bad for the small business owners - their gas stations are consistently $.15-.20 cents more per gallon than the BP, Sunoco, Hess and generic gas stations. I always thought they were just ripping people off charging 15cents more - but not I see that they are being ripped off and feel for them.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I actually noticed hat a Lukoil Station near me changed from Lukoil to Gulf. They are the same owners, and they are Russian, and I was wondering why they changed over to another franchise as I assumed they would choose their Russian supplier. I guess this is the reason why.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unless you live in NJ you wouldn't know it's illegal to pump your own gas. What do you thing about that autobloggers?
        Kenny Kizer
        • 2 Years Ago
        i now its illegal to pump ur own gas in new jersey since in oregon where i live i cannot pump my own gas. the only 2 states that you cant pump ur own gas which is stupid and good at the same time. keeps people with jobs but when you tell them limits to what you want they go over most of the time. well i dont pay for the extra gas they put in since i did not want that much. so its a good thing and a bad thing that you cannot pump ur own gas.
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lukoil is always more expensive than the surrounding stations. I never bother with them.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Protesting? I call that "price gouging ". There is a law against that.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NY EVO X MR GUY
        Let them charge what they want, and take your business elsewhere.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Give a couple days before some black LandCruisers roll into the gas stations and guys with black leather jackets step out.
      Cameron Huntsucker
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gee, a Russian oil company not playing fair... Where exactly does this surprise anyone?
      • 2 Years Ago
      OK. Let's get this straight. HP is hewlett packard. HuffPo is Huffington Post (aka: the SideBoob Gazette).
      • 2 Years Ago
      I worked at a gas station. The owner made no money. Business is closed down now.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not that I have any numbers, but I'd say the failure rate of gas stations is a hell of a lot lower compared to other stores (markets, restaurants, etc.)
          • 2 Years Ago
          You don't really make money selling gas, but it draws in the customers for high profit snacks. That's why you don't see service stations anymore, they all converted to convenience stores with gas pumps.
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