Oman petrol stations to issue unleaded petrol from August 1

Jul 07, 2001 02:00 AM

All the petrol stations in the Sultanate of Oman are ready to issue unleaded petrol from August 1, according to sources at the three fuel giants, Shell, BP and Al Maha.
Use of unleaded petrol in automobiles becomes mandatory from that date. As part of Oman's strategy to reduce pollution from road traffic, leaded petrol would be banned from general sale from next month. In a recent public notice, the Ministry of Oil and Gas informed the public that unleaded petrol would be available at all petrol stations in the Sultanate from August 1, 2001.
The government has also assured the consumers that the prices of unleaded petrol would remain the same as in the case of leaded petrol. Sources at Shell Oman Marketing SAOG said that unleaded petrol would be available at all the 115 outlets spread through the length and breadth of the country. According to the source, Shell has geared itself up to distribute unleaded fuel in Oman from the stipulated date.
BP Oman SAOG also claimed its readiness to comply with the government's orders. "We are ready to sell unleaded petrol in all our 72 outlets," an official mentioned. Similar assertion was also made by officials at Al Maha Petroleum Products Marketing, which has some 70 retail outlets. "We are almost ready," an official said.

Switching to new petrol "will have no impact on the vehicle" in terms of performance or efficiency of engines of vehicles, especially those manufactured after 1985. However, vehicles manufactured before 1985 should add an additive with the petrol, car dealers and automobile mechanics confirmed.
Mark Bishop, managing director, Porsche Middle East told that Porsche was one of the first car manufacturers to use catalytic converters in their cars and "emission control is an issue which is very important to use". The converters became standard on all Porsches in 1984 except for countries which used leaded fuel.
All Porsche vehicles coming to the Middle East from 1994 had catalytic converters, according to Bishop. "Porsche vehicles rank amongst the lowest vehicle emissions in the world and we meet all current and known emission standards world wide. The use of unleaded petrol is much cleaner for the atmosphere and reduces pollutants," he said, adding it is not necessary to make any changes in the current Porsche vehicles to run on unleaded fuel.
"All cars produced since 1984 can run on unleaded," Bishop said. It is clarified that all the cars which are manufactured after 1985 are said to be unleaded fuel friendly. Only those cars which are pre-1985 models should adopt some changes. But some mechanics mentioned that adding some carbon-based additives would solve the problem.
One car dealer mentioned that there might not be many cars of old (pre-1985) make in the capital area, while the interiors might have some good number of them. Few others mentioned that some motorists who are still using leaded petrol could safely use unleaded petrol in their cars with no adjustments at all.

The whole point about unleaded petrol is that it has been a prerequisite of getting vehicle emissions down. According to the "Urban Cycle" tests, which are very popular in the West, a modern car emits only about 1 % of the rubbish that an old one did. The old vehicle movement needs on one hand to be better informed than to be taken in by this spurious argument, and also must look realistically at itself and see just what they should be doing or accepting as part of the global concern about pollution.
"New cars have all been made to run on unleaded petrol for many years now, so the requirement for leaded is only going to fall. Even if governments don't ban it, the garages will not stock it once demand falls," a mechanic observed.

Source: Times of Oman
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