GCC seeks to unify petrol prices to curb smuggling

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Saudi Arabia has been the main victim of smuggling

Gulf oil ministers will meet in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss plans to unify petrol prices in a bid to curb growing smuggling operations in the region.

The ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will consider a standard price formula that will bridge the wide gap in petrol prices in member states.

Saudi newspapers said the Riyadh talks follow reports about a sharp increase in smuggling by regional dealers seeking to make quick profits by taking advantage of the price difference in each member.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s dominant oil exporter, has been the main victim of smuggling as its petrol prices are among the cheapest in the world.

“Unifying petrol prices will save nearly 30 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s petrol consumption,” said Rashid Abalmi, a well known Saudi oil analyst.

Most of the smuggled petrol from Saudi Arabia is sold in the UAE, which has the highest petrol price in the GCC

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