Petrol prices are set to surge 31.5 per cent at UAE service stations, starting September 1, 2005.

Gasoline prices at all service stations in the UAE will be increased by Dh1.50 per gallon and diesel prices by Dh1.40 per gallon as part of gradual steps to stem substantial and spiralling losses in the petroleum business of all the distributing companies in the region, petroleum retailer Enoc said in a statement.

The price of Mogas 95 and Mogas 98 will rise to Dh6.25 and Dh6.75 per gallon respectively, from Dh4.75 and Dh5.25.

Pump price of diesel will be increased to Dh7.70 from Dh6.30 a gallon.

The businesses of UAE petroleum retailers have been suffering high financial losses for years from their fuel sales.

Losses are now colossal as global prices have shot up to unprecedented levels.

In 2003 the crude oil price was around $34 per barrel and by August 2005 the price of oil has almost doubled to over $68 per barrel.

"At today's prices the loss per gallon is over Dh4.10 for petrol at the pumps," the statement said.

The distributing companies said they do appreciate that this increase will be a burden on the UAE motoring public but it is with great regret that this step has been taken.

They further stated that they have no choice but to implement their decision to increase prices as this is beyond their control as oil prices continue to spiral.