Oman Review 2016

Petrol stations in Oman are being redesigned

Petrol stations in Oman are being redesigned

Cheaper petrol demand fuels station redesign

A surge in the consumption of regular fuel and the introduction of a much greener fuel in the market has prompted petro giants in the Sultanate of Oman to redesign their stations and storage tanks

Fuel stations are being redesigned to reflect the hard reality of consumer choice in Oman as drivers tighten their belts and opt for cheaper fuel.

A surge in the consumption of regular fuel and the introduction of a much greener fuel in the market has prompted petro giants to redesign their stations and storage tanks.

Cash conscious motorists are opting for the cheapest fuel available – and filling stations are having to redesign their storage tanks to supply the demand.

Many fuel sales companies are redesigning their storage facilities in Oman. One petroleum company had plans to have two tanks of 25,000 litres each for super fuel (M95) and one for (M90) initially. Now, they have changed the plans. They will have two tanks for M90 and one for M95," says Rajeev KR, a senior official at Siraj Al Jazeera Projects, a fuel sales company in Oman.

Rajeev adds that already a number of fuel stations being constructed in Muscat have extra tankers to store regular, cheaper petrol. Last week, Eng Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, says that M91 will replace the existing 90 and will be available on the market in early August.

"We were aware that government is planning to introduce a much greener regular fuel. However, nothing has been communicated to us about the date of introduction and price. We expect that the price will be more or less closer to regular only," Rajeev says.

Currently, M90 price is 170 baisas per litre and the M95 will cost 180 baisas per litre.

After the subsidies on fuel were removed on January 15 due to the global oil price dip, prices have gone up prompting motorists to prefer regular to super.

Mohammed Khalid, the country manager of Descon Engineering, an oil and gas firm in Oman, says that M91 will be more environment friendly than the existing M90.

It will be a more refined one than M90. So, it will be a less polluting one and also good for vehicles. Of course, the price can be high but won’t be much higher," the manager says.

An automobile expert says that the majority of vehicles running in Oman are from South East Asia, which require fuel with Octane value ranging between M90 and M92.

So, if government introduces M91, it would be good for vehicle and environment," Renjith Mechery, an automobile mechanic in Wadi Kabir, says.

A motorist who often travels to Dubai from Muscat says that if M91 comes, it will be a good option for them.

Currently, Oman and Qatar only have M90 fuel. Whenever I go Dubai, I am compelled to switch to higher grade. If Oman comes with same fuel, then it would be a good option," Suresh Kumar, an Indian businessman, says.

Statistics shared by a Majlis Al Shura member revealed that in the first quarter of last year, 342,324 litres of regular petrol were sold while in 2016 during the same period, 1,210,315 litres of the fuel were sold. And in the case of M95, in 2015, 5,366,732 litres were sold, in 2016, 4,576,236 were sold.

According to the latest data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the sultanate posted a 127.3 per cent year-on-year increase in the production of regular (90) petrol in the first quarter of the current year with output surging ahead to 1.72 million barrels compared with 758,900 barrels produced for the same period last year.

On January 15, the price of super unleaded petrol was revised from 120 baisas to 160 baisas per litre. For regular it was raised from 114 baisas to 140 baisas per litre and for diesel, it was made raised to 160 baisas from 146 baisas per litre.

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