The FINANCIAL — A laboratory study by a local NGO focused on the protection of consumer rights showed that the same quality oil products available in Georgia are sometimes sold for different prices. The study also showed that retailers are not filling buyers’ cars’ tanks with an adequate amount of gasoline.
The FINANCIAL — A laboratory study by a local NGO focused on the protection of consumer rights showed that the same quality oil products available in Georgia are sometimes sold for different prices. The study also showed that retailers are not filling buyers’ cars’ tanks with an adequate amount of gasoline. The major retailers refused to comment on the results of the study.
A laboratory test of gasoline products offered by five major companies Gulf, Socar, Wissol, Rompetrol and Lukoil revealed that the octane number does vary by fuel category but different companies charge you differently in accordance with the fuel’s octane rating. Regular and Euro Regular gasoline offered by Wissol have almost the same octane rating, but the prices are significantly different.
A study was conducted by the momxmarebeli.ge website financed by Open Society Georgia, Eurasia Partnership Fund, Church Development Agency and Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation and Development.
According to the study’s results the octane rating of Regular gas at Rompetrol is 94.1; at Wissol – 93.5; at Gulf – 93; at Socar – 92.4.
Octane rating is a standard measure of the performance of a fuel. The higher the octane number, the more compression the fuel can withstand before detonating. In broad terms, fuels with a higher octane rating are used in high-compression engines that generally have higher performance. In contrast, fuels with low octane numbers are ideal for diesel engines. Use of gasoline with low octane numbers may lead to the problem of engine knocking.
Lia Todua, founder of the website, said that for laboratory analyses researchers bought two litres of gasoline of each brand. “The picture on our website also showed that not every company filled the bottles equally. The worst results were shown by Rompetrol,” Todua said.
Contrary to Regular fuel, a standard measure of Super gas of Socar Georgia fixed its highest measure at 98.9. Price per litre of Super fuel at Socar is GEL 2.28. You will be charged GEL 0.1 less if choosing a Super category gas at Lukoil, with an octane rate of 98.1. The leader in terms of octane rate of Regular gasoline – Rompetrol, fixed its low fuel standard in the Euro Super category at 98, costing GEL 2.33 per litre.
Gulf is the only company which sells oil with a higher octane rating at a lower price. Currently the price for one litre of Regular gas with a 93 octane rate is GEL 2.10. A litre of Euro Regular gas with octane rating 92.8 is GEL 2.13. Gulf also has a lower octane number of Euro Regular gas in comparison with fuel of the same category of Wissol. A standard measure of Euro Regular fuel at one of the leading oil retailers in Georgia – Wissol, is 93.9.
Wissol, Rompetrol, Socar and Lukoil failed to answer The FINANCIAL’s questions for the whole week.
“We import each type of fuel from different countries. Accordingly prices vary. Regular is imported from Romania, Euro Regular from Bulgaria, Premium and Super are imported sometimes from Romania and sometimes from Greece,” Lasha Tevzadze, Marketing Manager at Sun petroleum Georgia LLC, official distributor of Gulf Oil international in Georgia, told The FINANCIAL.
Tevzadze said that there are special standards stated for oil distributors. The minimum standard of Regular fuel’s octane rating should be 91, Premium – minimum 95, and Super – minimum 98. “We run our own standard which is a minimum 92 octane rate for Regular, Euro Regular minimum 93, Premium – minimum 96, and Super – minimum 98. I wager we have a better octane rate of Super fuel than Socar. If they had tested our Super fuel, the octane rate would be higher than Socar’s of 98.9. The measure of the octane number of the gasoline always varies depending on the consignment. But it will never be less than 98, as this is our standard,” he said.
“The long lines in front of our gas stations prove that the quality of our fuel is better than others. When I myself was filling up my tank at Wissol stations it gave me less miles per gallon than Gulf. They never fill up the tank. Every taxi driver would tell you that they prefer to choose Gulf oil stations as they manage to get more miles for their money,” said Nino Jibladze, VP Marketing and PR at Sun petroleum Georgia.
With 142 gas stations Gulf occupies 25% of the Georgian market. The volume of investments already made by the company’s founders is GEL 140 million. One of the owners of the company was David Kezerashvili, ex-Minister of Defence of Georgia. On Monday Sun Petroleum Georgia will be revealing its new shareholders.
Tevzadze said that the company has already reduced prices for fuel by 6-8 tetri.
According to Tevzadze Regular and Diesel fuels occupy approximately 50% of the fuel market in Georgia. 70% of Diesel and 30% of oil sold in Georgia is imported from Azerbaijan.