Egypt fuel prices will not see immediate rises: Official
Petroleum minister says the current crisis at petrol stations is caused by distribution problems and there is no reason to hike prices
Ahram Online, Thursday 7 Jun 2012
Cars queue at a petrol station in Cairo last week (Photo: Bassam Al-Zoghby)
Egypt will not see any rises in petrol prices as the current fuel crisis is not caused by an overall shortage in state supplies, the country's Minister of Petroleum said on Wednesday.
Speaking to the state-run MENA news agency, Abdallah Ghorab claimed the long queues at refuelling points in Cairo and beyond are caused by disruptions in the distribution network that connects fuel depots with the country's 3,000 petrol stations.
These distribution problems will be resolved soon, he added.
Ghorab also called on the government to revise the amount it budgets for fuel subsidies, saying part of the current sum could be used for another sector such as education or health.
The amount spent on fuel subsidies will fall to LE70 billion in 2012/13 from LE95 billion in the current fiscal year, and make up 48 per cent of Egypt's total subsidies bill of LE145.8 billion.
Ghorab also said that the petroleum ministry will continue to produce Octane 80, even as it introduces a new grade, Octane 85.
One litre of Octane 80 currently retails for LE0.9 ($0.15), Octane 90 for LE1.75 ($0.29), Octane 92 for LE1.85 ($0.3), and the high-quality Octane 95 for LE2.75 ($0.45).