Dubai: The difference between domestic retail fuel prices and oil prices on the international market will lead to a loss of Dh1.62 billion for Emirates National Oil Company this year, a top company official said yesterday.

Enoc has called for political action to check the rising losses incurred by its retailers.

Hussain Sultan, Chief Executive of Enoc Group, said the company is losing Dh4.5 million every day. "Retailers' losses are rising by the year, and an action should be taken. Politicians can solve the problem."

He said the number of vehicles grew by 35 per cent last year in Dubai, compared to the same in 2004. "That means the number of vehicles in the emirate will double by the end of next year. We need to invest more in building additional retail outlets to meet the growing demand," said Sultan.

Retail outlet

Sultan denied a recent news suggesting that the company will stop building new stations or restrict supplies because of losses. "Enoc, as a national company, will carry on its duties and stick to its commitments to the consumers. We will continue to build new stations as a part of our expansion plan," said Sultan.

Company sources refused to comment on any rise in gasoline prices in the next three months. "There is a committee of retailers. They will announce any hike, if it happens," they said.