Oil prices are crashing worldwide due to the coronavirus spread and after Saudi Arabia launched an oil price war against Russia. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, were down 22%, last trading at $35.45 per barrel. US oil is trading at $33.15 per barrel, a decline of nearly 20%. [CNN]
What does that mean? Cheaper gas of course but not in Lebanon apparently as the Ministry of Energy and Water decided to set fixed prices as follows:
– Gasoline 98 octane: 24,000 LBP
– Gasoline 95 octane: 23,400 LBP
– Diesel Oil: 15,400 LBP
– Gas Canister: 15,500 LBP
In other words, they want us to keep paying high prices for the gas tank while oil prices are dropping drastically, and by doing so bringing more money to the treasury. The same scenario took place five years ago before the authorities dropped the idea.
Logically speaking, and knowing that the prices are related to international market fluctuations, the government should not be allowed to set a minimum price, unless of course they’re willing to set a maximum prices as well, that way they would be prioritizing the citizens and businesses.
One might argue that we need this money now that we’re bankrupt, but why should we Lebanese pay the prices of years of incompetence? Will lower fuel prices mean more electricity hours? How is the government planning to use this surplus they’re getting off our pockets? Where’s the electricity rescue plan? How are we helping Lebanese cope with this disastrous situation by fixing gasp rices while their purchasing power is plummeting every week?