Muscat, Feb 24-
The M91 grade fuel wins hands down in terms of popularity and acceptance across the Sultanate.
With fuel prices in the country touching an all-time high this year, M91, not M95, has emerged as the standard accepted grade.
The production of M91 fuel increased 45 per cent in January 2017 to 902,000 barrels as against 622,000 barrels in the same period in 2016.
At the same time, the domestic sales of M91 rose 83 per cent from 537,000 barrels in January 2016 compared with 984,000 barrels in January 2017.
“Both grades of fuel are expensive but I get more value for money from M91. I gradually shifted to M91 and it has not made a difference in the performance of my saloon car. The only problem is that the gas station employees still fill M95 by default,” said Zain al Balushi, a taxi operator.
He expects the fuel station staff to accept that it’s M91, not M95, which is the widely used fuel.
John, a staff at an Oman Oil fuel station, said, “It is true that eight of ten saloon cars use M91 but we have been used to M95, or the ‘super’, as the standard accepted grade in Oman for years.”
Unlike mixing petrol with diesel, he said the mixing up of M91 and M95 should not create a problem.
Haitham, also a company taxi operator, said passenger fares will not go up in line with the fuel prices. “It makes sense to go for the cheapest option these days.”
The Ministry of Oil and Gas recently indicated to the Observer that the pricing of petroleum products will be “left to the market dynamics” in the long run.
“We will only monitor compliances and ensure there is no collusion between companies to set prices artificially,” he said.
The production of M95 declined 29 per cent to around one million in January 2018 compared with the figures for the same period in 2017.
The domestic sales of M95 decreased 31 per cent from 1.3 million barrels in January 2017 to 963,000 barrels in January 2017.
The sales of diesel increased by two per cent and aviation fuel by 18 per cent in January 2017.
There has been an increase in the production of diesel by 37 per cent and aviation fuel by 138 per cent in January 2018 compared with the figures for the same period a year ago.
The total production of refineries and petroleum industries increased 28 per cent by the end of January 2018.
As per the fuel prices set for February 2018, M91 costs 207 baisa per litre as against 199 baisa in the previous month.
M95 costs 218 baisa per litre as against 213 baisa last month.
Diesel costs 244 baisa per litre against 230 baisa in January.
The recently launched M98 grade fuel for high-end vehicles costs 266 baisa per litre.