The Texaco brand has been recognized in Belize for decades - but, no more; now UNOPETROL has replaced Texaco.

You may have noticed the signs going up at gas stations in your area. Our information says that UNOPETROL is refitting seven service stations countrywide. The Honduran company owns all those stations. There are three other Texaco stations, which UNOPETROL does not own; one of them has decided to go UNOPETROL, the others may or may not - but either way, they'll have to stop using the Texaco logo - which is no longer licensed for Belize.

The refitting work is being done by a company called FIMCOL, which we could not find listed in the phone book. It's news because UNOPETROL created a stir when it announced to dealers - those folks who run the gas stations - that they would be introducing a new system.

In the past, those who manage gas stations would buy the fuel from the Wholesalers, pay them a monthly rental fee - and then collect from the fuel sales and the convenience store.

But now, UNOPETROL will buy the fuel - from itself - then sell the fuel at the pump and pocket both the dealers' margin and the wholesalers' margin, which, combined, is about one dollar 50 cents per gallon on Premium fuel.

From that dealer's margin - the present gas station managers will get a commission on every gallon sold - plus they get to keep the proceeds of sales from the convenience store.

It's a far smaller pot for those running the gas station - but UNOPETROL's position is that they no longer have to pay for the fuel - since UNPETROL owns it - and we will add again - buys that fuel from itself, getting two cuts of the pump price.

Channel 7