Fuel prices: Demand for M91 spikes as M95 becomes dearer in Oman

Energy Sunday 01/October/2017 19:49 PM
By: Times News Service
Fuel prices: Demand for M91 spikes as M95 becomes dearer in Oman

Muscat: As costs for ‘super’ grade M95 fuel reaches a record high in Oman, new data has revealed how motorists are ditching the higher grade fuel for a cheaper alternative.
Read here: Fuel prices for October announced in Oman
Data from the National Centre of Statistical Information (NCSI) has shown how domestic sales of M91 rose by 30 per cent to 5.1 million barrels between January and August this year, compared with last year. M95 sales declined by 14 per cent to 10.2 million barrels this year.
“Most people in Oman use their own cars to travel and their salary isn’t a lot so there is an effect on residents. Therefore, we see people trying to cope with this issue using M91,” Ahmed Al Hooti, member of OCCI said.
Oman removed fuel subsidies last year that led to fuel prices rising by more than 50 per cent as prices followed international crude prices. Due to that, Oman cut its fuel subsidy bill by more than half a billion rials.
While this month saw the price of M95 rise to an all time high of 205 baisas per litre, officials kept the prices of M91 capped at 186 baisas per litre to help low income groups. This has increased demand for M91 rapidly.
“There is an affect of rising prices, especially diesel prices. Because high octane fuel is required by cars that have high performance engines, M95 price rise is fine as it can be afforded by most who drive such cars. However, this also makes everyone who doesn’t have a high performance car but is filling M95, to shift to M91 as it is cheaper and serves the purpose.
“Diesel prices are more of a problem for companies that are struggling to keep costs low. There is an effect on company finances in the construction sector but still a small one,” Maaz Firdous, consultant at Al Iskaan Engineering, said.
“People have been buying more of M91. We have noticed this in the past two years. It’s getting more and more. Now people know M91 gives nearly similar performance without affecting the engine badly so they are opting for it. It may go higher within the next one or two years as prices go up,” a petrol pump owner based in Bawsher said.
Oman crude prices reached their highest levels last month.
“There has been an effect on our operations due to rising prices of diesel; however, a maximum of five per cent difference. I believe the prices of diesel are still one of the lowest in the world and very much sustainable,” a finance manager at a water company said.
“I am happy to shift to M91. I used to fill M95 when it was 120 baisas per litre, but not anymore. Considering most people have Japanese cars in Oman, it should be pretty simple to make a shift as there is no adverse effect on the engine,” Ayesha Ahmed, an Indian expat said.
“I have shifted to using M91 in my Subaru. It drives just fine and the mileage is nearly the same. I think more people should be shifting to this soon,” Yunus Afteb, an Indian expat said.