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Fuel hoarding can prove fatal, warn officials in Oman
January 12, 2016 | 9:50 PM
by FAHAD AL GHADANI / REJIMON K
 
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Read also: Oman to fall from ninth cheapest fuel in world to 13th

Muscat: ‘Don’t risk your life by hoarding fuel to save a few baisas’, a top official from the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances (PACDA), has told the public 48 hours ahead of a hike in the price of fuel.

From Friday, the price of super unleaded petrol is set to rise from 120 baisas to 160 baisas per litre; for regular petrol it will increase from 114 baisas to 140 baisas per litre and diesel will rise from 146 baisas to 160 baisas per litre.

The move is part of a government strategy to cushion its fiscal budget, which is struggling to cope with the global oil price dip.



“The difference in the fuel prices is not a big issue, especially for individuals. It is not at all worth risking lives and property in the name of saving a few baisas,” said the PACDA official. “It’s not safe to store such flammable substances at homes, gardens or even farms,” the source added as a number of fire accidents had occurred in the past as a result of people storing fuel at home or in farms.

Check here: Some easy steps to help cut your fuel cost by 30 per cent in Oman



For the first time in 17 years, the price of petrol in Oman is finally set to increase, by a full third for super unleaded, pushing the Sultanate’s rank from the ninth cheapest fuel provider in the world to the 13th.

The new price will be in place until the end of the month, which will be revised every month, depending on the global situation.

The PACDA official said that special handling and appropriate storage facilities are needed to store fuel, otherwise it can cause serious accidents.

“Even though we spread awareness among the public about the danger of handling fuel carelessly, there are still many fuel station workers, who violate our instructions and supply fuel to customers neglecting the safety requirements issued by us,” the PACDA official added.

According to the official, for those who buy fuel for their fishing and tour boats and farmers to run motors, clear directions given out by PACDA should be followed and pre-approved containers for fuel storage should be used.

Also read: ‘Companies in Oman to skip pay hikes, bonuses’

Mark Pudwell, business development and training manager at Competence HR, said stockpiling fuel or any other flammable liquid is extremely dangerous given that these liquids require special handling and appropriate storage facilities to mitigate the chances of serious incident and possible injury or death.

“The cost saving versus risk factor does not make it a sensible or viable solution for fuel cost increases. Filling stations should help the management of fuel dispensing by imposing restrictions on the amount of fuel sold to customers for take away purposes,” Pudwell said.

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Five-litre container

According to him, a five-litre container is acceptable for emergency fuel use, but more than this could result in a life threatening incident if a vehicle carrying multiple cans of fuel is involved in a collision of any kind.

“Trying to beat price rise by stockpiling is not worth dying for and the transportation of bulk fuel by private vehicle owners must be controlled by the authorities and fuel suppliers,” Pudwell added.

The hike in price of fuel was on the cards since the Oman government unveiled its austerity-driven 2016 State Budget.

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