Monday, September 12, 2011

World’s cheapest petrol prices

Saudi Arabia has the cheapest petrol prices in the Gulf region but is behind Venezuela in a global list of the lowest fuel costs, according to a new report.

Home to nearly a fifth of the world’s oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of petroleum and a major player on the global energy stage. With 90 percent of its earnings coming from oil, it is hardly surprising that citizens only pay an average of around $0.127 per litre at the petrol pumps.

The list of the world’s cheapest petrol prices was compiled by British car insurance provider Staveley Head, with Venezuela taking the top spot, where prices only cost an average of $0.047 per litre.

With President Hugo Chavez keeping prices low, petrol is cheaper than bottled water in some parts of the South American country.

While four Gulf States are listed amongst the rankings, the UAE was notably absent. The news comes as Dubai-owned oil firm Enoc Group has been plagued by fuel shortages this year, with petrol pumps this summer forced to cease or ration resources.

The Staveley Head rankings found the Norway was the most expensive country for petrol, costing $2.6 per litre.

10 Algeria: Algiers — $0.317 per litre 

60 percent of the country's income comes from its oil production and the North Africa state has the 14 largest oil reserves in the world. With around 11.8 billion barrels, no wonder the government can offer low fuel rates to its citizens in a bid to avoid Arab Spring type demonstrations.

9 Oman: Muscat — $0.317 per litre

 Around 600,000 barrels are produced here every day on average. But this oil rich economy is planning to expand further and invest $15bn in new petrochemical and infrastructure projects in the southeast of the country over the next 10 years. Simple put, this means even better news for Omanis at the pumps.

8 Egypt: Cairo — $0.30 per litre

Egypt is believed to have around 4.3 billion barrels of oil reserves. While it may only be the 27 largest it in the world in terms of reserves, its low fuel charges easily put it in the top ten cheapest. However, how long the low fuel costs can last after the economic impact of the Arab Spring movement and how the new government performs remains to be seen.

7 Qatar: Doha — $0.238 per litre


As well as enjoying the highest income level per person in the world, Qataris also enjoy one of the lowest petrol rates in the world. Qatar’s wealth is not just confined to oil - its gas reserves are almost as big and the tiny Gulf state is the third biggest natural gas producer in the world.

6 Kuwait: Kuwait City — $0.222 per litre

 One of the few democratic countries in the Gulf, the parliament-led government makes sure petrol, public transport and heavily subsidised fuel bills for locals are kept low. With the fifth largest proven reserves in the world, the government can afford to keep doing this for some time to come.

5 Bahrain: Manama — $0.206 per litre 

 Around 60 percent of the government's revenue comes from oil production and this is given back to the locals in the form of the fifth cheapest petrol prices in the world. With tribal divisions resulting in high levels of anti-government protests, this is a policy the island state’s rulers are likely to continue.

4 Turkmenistan: Ashgabat — $0.19 per litre 

Car drivers are entitle to around 120 litres free per month. So they don’t worry too much about the cost, which is already considerably low. But, with relatively low oil reserves, how sustainable is such a policy?

3 Libya: Tripoli — $0.142 per litre

 With Gaddafi still at large, the conflict in the North African country rages on and the country’s oil fields remain largely closed. So how long can fuel prices remain so low - is the big question facing the new rebel leaders.

2 Saudi Arabia: Riyadh — $0.127 per litre

 Home to around a fifth of the world’s oil reserves, it is hardly surprising that the kingdom has the second lowest petrol rates in the world. As the largest exporter of petroleum, Saudi plays a leading role in OPEC and with the sector accounting for 90 percent of the country’s export earnings, oil is the biggest economic factor in the country.

1 Venezuela: Caracas — $0.047 per litre

The South American leader Hugo Chavez’s ongoing popularity would appear to be down to the low prices his citizens enjoy, with water more expensive than petrol in some parts of the country.