Qatar to allow domestic fuel prices to fluctuate

26 April 2016

Decision is part of the government’s broader subsidy reform agenda

Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry will allow gasoline and diesel prices in the domestic market to fluctuate according to global market changes, as the gas-rich country looks to reduce the subsidy burden on its finances amid lower oil prices.

Fuel prices are subsidised, but from 1 May, forecourt prices will move in accordance with fluctuations in the world markets. The prices will be reviewed on a monthly basis, Qatar’s official news agency QNA cited Sheikh Mishaal bin Jabor al-Thani, head of the fuel prices committee, as saying at a press conference in Doha.

Future prices in Qatar’s domestic market will be based on a formula that includes global fuel prices, production and distribution costs within Qatar, and prices elsewhere in the region, QNA said.

The move by Qatar mimics the UAE’s decision to have a floating price structure last year. The Gulf states, which account for about a third of the world’s proven oil reserves, are cutting spending and reviewing water, electricity and fuel subsidy structures after crude prices fell from more than $110 a barrel in mid-2014.

The other members of the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, have also reduced various state subsidies.

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