Muscat: Consumption of cheaper, regular petrol has tripled in Oman during the first quarter of this year, and experts have warned there may be long lasting consequences - for your car and the planet.
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As austerity bites, and with petrol prices no longer subsidised and expected to rise slightly in the coming days, more and more people are opting for cheaper fuel.
“The consumption of regular petrol (M90) has gone up and the consumption of super grade (M95) and diesel has come down,” Tahir Al Junaibi, a Majlis Al Shura member, said.
The statistics shared by the Shura member reveal that in 2015 Q1 342,324 litres of regular petrol were sold, in 2016 during the same period, 1,210,315 litres of the fuel were sold. “In the case of M95, in 2015, 5,366,732 litres were sold, in 2016, 4,576,236 were sold,” the Shura member added.
The statistics also reveal that the consumption of diesel has gone down from 4,355,510 litres to 4,244,878 litres while comparing 2015 Q1 and 2016 Q1.
According to a senior official at a fuel sales company, removal of price regulations has resulted in the increase in the consumption of regular petrol.
“After the removal, to save a few baisas, people are now opting for regular petrol. This is not good for vehicles,” Rajeev KR, the senior official at Siraj Al Jazeera Projects, a fuel sales company in Oman, said.
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“Across Oman, we are seeing that people prefer regular to super,” the official added.
Mohammed Khalid, the country manager of Descon Engineering, an oil and gas firm in Oman, said that regular petrol is not refined like super one at the stage of production and so it will emit more gas and carbon.
“When a vehicle’s engine is running, several different types of gas and particles are emitted that can have detrimental effects on the environment. Of particular concern to the environment are carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases to name a few. These emissions will pollute the climate and speed up climate change,” Khalid said.
“The emission from vehicles using regular petrol will affect the air quality,” Khalid said while adding that in the long run it is not good to substitute regular petrol with super grade if the vehicle manual states super. According to Khalid, motorists are forced to use regular only because there is no other option.
Meanwhile, an environmental expert in Oman said that it is preferable to use super petrol in cars because it will cause less harm to the environment when compared to regular.
“Super petrol doesn’t emit much carbon while used in vehicle as it is refined at the production stage itself. So, it doesn’t pollute environment with carbon emission and speed up the climate change,” Hameed Sulaiman, assistant professor of environmental science at Sultan Qaboos University, told Times of Oman.
“Regular petrol can cause more damage to environment when compared to super grade ones,” the expert said, adding that he would advise people to go for super to save the planet.
An automobile expert said that certain components are added to increase the octane level to better the performance of the vehicle by avoiding knocking.
“Majority of the vehicles plying in Oman need only fuel having octane value between 87 and 92. Here in Oman we get M90, which is good enough for the vehicles. There is no need to go for super,” the automobile expert said.
According to the latest data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), Oman recorded a whopping 166 per cent year-on-year increase in the production of regular (90) petrol during the first two months of 2016, with output surging to 1.03 million barrels compared to 388,100 barrels produced last year.
Super (95) petrol logged a 2.1 per cent growth over the period to touch 3.43 million barrels as against 3.36 million barrels in 2015.