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Saudi Aramco to Launch Campaign Soon on 2 Grades of Gasoline

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 5/10/2006, Location: Middle East

Saudi Aramco plans very soon to launch an awareness campaign to educate Saudi citizens and residents about the introduction in 2007 of its second grade of gasoline, Octane 91. The campaign will be part of the company's efforts increase awareness about its two grades of gasoline among consumers and service station owners. Local newspapers, Saudi television and other media outlets will participate in the campaign.

Saudi Aramco will operate a mobile exhibit that will travel all over the Kingdom. The exhibit will feature various publications and circulars prepared especially for the campaign and designed to reach the greatest number of consumers. Saudi Aramco will also soon launch a special Web site that will answer the public's questions about the new gasoline grade due to be unveiled in early 2007. Visitors to the Web site will be able to learn instantly whether the new grade of gasoline is suitable for their vehicles, by entering the make and model of the vehicle in a box on the Web page. The appropriate grade of gasoline will then appear on the page. The Web site will also provide users with articles, studies and analyses on the new gasoline grade. Saudi Aramco will also announce a toll-free telephone number that will respond to public inquiries 24 hours a day.

Publications about the campaign will be made available in many service stations throughout the Kingdom and at the Saudi Aramco Exhibit in Dhahran.

In accordance with a decision of the Council of Ministers, Saudi Aramco will begin producing 91 octane gasoline -- in addition to its current grade of 95 octane -- effective January 1, 2007. To make this possible, the company has conducted an extensive program of developing and modernizing facilities, from its refineries to its bulk plants, scattered in 20 locations throughout the Kingdom, and including some 7,000 privately owned gasoline stations across the country.

Gasoline facilities in four refineries - Ras Tanura, Riyadh, Jiddah and Rabigh - were upgraded to be able to produce these two grades of fuel. Pipelines and tankers were also modernized, to enable transportation of the two refined products without mixing them. At Saudi Aramco's bulk plants, the fuel systems and storage tanks were modified to allow for receiving, storing and distributing the two grades of gasoline.

In a measure to protect the consumer, Saudi Aramco will add a distinctive color to each grade of gasoline and it has recommended to authorities that service stations be required to paint their pumps to match the fuel grade dispensed. The company has also recommended that gasoline stations add transparent connectors to their pumps to allow the consumer to see the color of the fuel and distinguish its grade.

On Monday, May 1, 2006, Saudi Aramco began implementing the recent Royal Decree that reduced the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel, and the company was selling new quantities of fuel to service stations at the new prices. The margin of profit allowed to the gasoline stations is 7.25 halalas per liter. This means that Saudi Aramco is selling gasoline to these stations for 52.75 halalas per liter.

The company affirmed that it will continue to provide the local market with whatever quantities of fuel it requires. Normally fuel consumption tracks the rates of population expansion and economic growth.

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