Muscat: A new petrol grade, MOGAS 91 will be available in Oman from November 1, according to Salem Al Aufi, Undersecretary of Oil and Gas Ministry.
“After revising fuel prices in mid-January, consumers were heading to cheaper grade fuel, M90 [instead of M95],” said Al Aufi at press conference on Sunday, adding that refineries in Oman were planning to produce a better quality M91 petrol grade to replace M90.
The move has upset some motorists used to buying the M90 category, as the cheapest category of oil available at the pump will now be more expensive.
“Studies show that many cars run on M91, So we decided to remove the M90 category for M91,” said Al Aufi. Fuel stations will have two months between November 1 to the end of December to provide the new M91 petrol grade.
The price of the new petrol grade will be between M90 and M95, and it is expected to have high demand from consumers, according to Al Aufi.
Al Aufi explained that one of the reasons behind the less demand for the regular fuel in Oman is that “regular” name, causes the consumer to think the quality of the fuel is not good.
Oman witnessed a significant increase in demand for normal grade petrol (M90) after the government revised fuel prices in January for both M90 and the higher grade M95.
Many consumers prefer to fill their vehicles with M90 instead of super grade petrol (M95) given the price difference.
Consumers who use the super petrol grade, M95, for their vehicles will be able to save cash if they opt for M91.
70 per cent to 85 per cent of the vehicles in Oman can run on the new fuel grade, according to Al Aufi.
Prakash Babu, a manager at petrol station in the capital Muscat, said that more people will go for the new M91 if the quality is good. ”There is a huge demand for the M90 after Oman revised the fuel prices in mid-January,” said Brakash.
However, Naser Al Beloushi, a taxi driver, told Gulf News that the new M91 is not welcomed by taxi drivers as the regular fuel does well in their vehicles.
“It’s going to affect us. We have to pay more. Its not a good idea,” said Al Beloushi.
The National Centre for Statistics and Information data indicated that the total output of the regular petrol went up 175 per cent to 3.28 million barrels in the first half of 2016 to 1.91 million barrels during the same period in 2015.
Subsidies on petroleum products, including petrol and diesel, are estimated to have cost Oman 900 million riyals (Dh8.56 billion) in 2015, compared to 840 million rials in 2014. The new budget projects 3.3 billion Omani rials (Dh31.47 billion) in deficit spending for 2016, which the government says it will try to reduce by improving the non-oil revenues and cutting expenditure. Oman posted a budget deficit of 4.5 billion rials in 2015, as revenues declined by more than 50 per cent.
Oman posted a budget deficit of 4 billion rials in the first seven months of 2016, nearly double the figure a year earlier.