Fuel prices at pumps in Oman 'will not' be capped

April's price for Oman's commuters has increased

Motorists in Oman can expect to carry on paying more for petrol this year.
Motorists in Oman can expect to carry on paying more for petrol this year.

Motorists in Oman can expect to carry on paying more for petrol this year with no plans to cap the cost at the pumps if the global oil price continues to rise, a top official at the Sultanate’s Majlis Al Shura economic panel said.

“At present there are no plans to cap the retail fuel prices in Oman. Even if the crude prices recover, the retail fuel prices will not be capped,” Ahmed Al Haddabi, vice-chairman of Shura economic panel, told the Times of Oman.

While the strengthening price of oil will help the Sultanate's finances it is also a double-edged sword for motorists now that the government has removed the petrol subsidy, letting the market dictate the cost at the pump.

April's price for Oman's commuters has increased.

Citing a circular from the ministry of oil and gas, an official from one of the petrol and diesel distribution companies, said that in April, the revised regular petrol (M90) will cost 145 baizas per litre, super graded (M95) 158 baizas and diesel will cost 163 baizas. (OMR1 = $2.59; 1000 baizas = OMR1)

In March, the cost of regular petrol (M90) was 130 baizas per litre, super graded (M95) was 145 baizas and diesel was 146 baizas.

Builders in Oman, who mainly depend on diesel, said that increase in fuel prices is a worrying trend and it is affecting their business.
“The increase in fuel prices, especially diesel is affecting companies. It is adding more burden on their operational costs. Companies are preparing budgets foreseeing this. End products are becoming costlier,” Shahswar Al Balushi, the chief executive officer of Oman Society of Contractors, said.

Before the end of the fuel subsidy on January 15 this year, the price of super unleaded petrol was 120 baizas; for regular it was 114 baizas and for diesel it was 146 baizas.

Following the dip in global oil prices, Oman had deregulated its oil prices in January this year as part of austerity measures aimed at plugging the budget deficit.

Fuel subsidies for 2015 were estimated to be OMR580mn, and with deregulation the government will be able to save that money, which is expected to be a great help in reducing the deficit.

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