The high gasoline prices in the United States are caused by high crude oil prices and these same high prices are experienced in many countries around the globe. In fact, almost all modernized countries apart from oil producing giants like Venezuela and countries in the Middle East, have fuel prices far higher than those in the U.S. For instance, the average price per gallon in much of Europe is $6.00 to $7.00 (in U.S. dollars).
But there are some countries where fuel prices are still very low. A handful of these countries, the ones with the absolute cheapest fuel prices in the world, sell their gasoline at per gallon prices that rival those of the United States in the 1920s, when automobiles were first seen on the nation’s roads. Nine of these countries with extremely low per gallon fuel prices are discussed below. Keep it in mind that these prices fluctuate nearly daily and are not up to the minute representations.
The country with the absolute lowest per gallon cost of gasoline in the world is Venezuela. At just $0.10 per gallon the price is almost unbelievably low. The reason behind the incredibly low price is that the President of the country, Hugo Chavez, gives the citizens generous gasoline subsidies. Venezuela is, of course, one of the leading producers of oil in the world as well.
With oil reserves only second in size to Venezuela according to recent reports, Saudi Arabia can afford to offer low price gasoline to its citizens. At just $0.48 per gallon it’s startlingly cheap. The country has so much oil, in fact, that it exports nearly 9 million barrels of oil per day, only 1 million less than the whole of the United States uses in the same time period.
Another country with some of the lowest fuel prices in the world is Libya. The average price per gallon at the pump is a measly $0.54. The low price is due in large part to the country’s extensive network of oil fields. Libya actually exports up to 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. The abundance of oil offsets much of the demand for gasoline in the nation. Fuel subsidies help keep the price low as well.
Located in Central Asia, the country of Turkmenistan sells its gas for an average of $0.72 per gallon. Much like the other countries on this list, Turkmenistan’s low fuel prices are all thanks to extensive petroleum reserves and government subsidies. Each citizen of the country is actually guaranteed 34 gallons of free gas each and every month. Basically, this means that most citizens don’t even have to dish out the $0.72 for a gallon ever. People from Turkmenistan just don’t drive that much.
With gasoline costing just $0.06 more than in Turkmenistan, Bahrain’s $0.78 per gallon is incredibly cheap. Unlike many of the other countries on this list, Bahrain does not have extensive oil reserves. In fact, it has very little of its own oil at all. However, it does sport one of the Middle East’s fastest growing economies and is the so-called center of banking on the Persian Gulf. All of this nationwide income allows the government to spend a great amount of money on services for its citizens including gasoline subsidies.
With fuel prices nearly equivalent to those of the United States during the 1980s, the country of Kuwait boasts per gallon gasoline prices of $0.81 cents. Add the $123 average daily income of a Kuwaiti into the picture and the overall financial impact of a gallon of gas on the average citizen is minimal. Kuwait’s low fuel prices stem, like Venezuela, from its oil-rich land. In fact, petroleum makes up nearly 95% of the country’s exports and government income each year.
The country of Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas. It is also the 15th biggest exporter of crude oil. While the oil consumption of Qatar has tripled in the past decade or so, its extensive oil reserves still have plenty of the black gold both for its own citizens and to export. The abundance of oil and government subsidies account for the low price of fuel in Qatar.
The most populous country in the entire Arab world, Egypt is also home to a low price per gallon for gasoline at $1.14. The administration that came into power after the ousted former President Hosni Mubarak has promised to make significant changes to their energy industry and cut back fuel subsidies in the process. Even with recent changes, Egypt still sports some of the lowest fuel prices anywhere.
The price of fuel per gallon of gasoline in Oman consistently hovers around $1.20, higher than any other country on this list but still remarkably low altogether. Interestingly, with 5.5 billion barrels of oil waiting to be produced, the country has among the largest proven oil reserves in the entire Middle East. Qatar also boasts one of the world’s highest per capita incomes and so the majority of its citizens have plenty of money to spend on a few bucks of gasoline.
The nine countries discussed above are the countries with the lowest fuel prices in the world. If you live in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe, then you’re probably wishing that you lived close enough to one of the discussed countries to drive there and fuel up! While the thought of $1.00 per gallon or lower gasoline is definitely nice, it is sadly not the way things are in the majority of countries around the world. However, it is interesting to take note of the countries that do have low fuel prices and form an understanding of why their prices are so low.