Posted by: Sarah | February 16, 2012

Bouncing Petrol Prices In Oslo


A few weeks ago I read an article on Sky News about a proposed fuel price increase of 3p per litre in the UK from January 2012 – the reaction was pretty clear.  The British public are furious about yet another hike in fuel prices.

Here’s a comparison…in Norway petrol prices can fluctuate by as much as 10% – IN JUST ONE DAY!!!!

Why am I telling you this?  Well, everyone knows that Norway has become a wealthy country due to the oil they found in the 1960’s.  What folks probably don’t know is that none of that oil is used to power Norway – almost all of the electricity (to my knowledge) is generated via hydropower.  Most of the oil is exported to other countries ranking Norway as the third largest oil exporter in the world.

The exportation of oil and gas compromises of approximately 50% of the total export market for Norway and I was told that Norway now yields more money from the interest on their oil reserve funds than they do from actually selling the oil each year.  Incredible.

That said, none of this ‘oil wealth’ seems to have been passed down to the average consumer in Norway.  The price of petrol is pretty similar to the UK although the tax portion of it is higher – much like everything else in Norway.  Compared to the USA, Norwegians are paying approximately 2.5x the price that Americans pay for fuel – we won’t even go there!

Last Sunday we filled up our little car and it cost approx 625 NOK (£69) which is about 12.5NOK per litre.  On Monday the price changed to 14.3 NOK per litre and so would have cost us approx 715 NOK (£78).

That’s almost 90NOK (£10) difference in the space of 24 hours!!!

Eliot asked his colleagues at work to explain the dramatic fluctuations and apparently this all started a while ago in Oslo when petrol stations realised that during the working week people were less sensitive to pricing and just paid to fill their car up with fuel.  Consumers have more time at the weekend to choose so the petrol stations became to be a little more competitive with their pricing – unbelievable.

Perhaps this is not true – if you know different please let me know.  I’d be interested to find out. Moral of the story?  If you live in Oslo fill your car up at the weekend!

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Responses

  1. There is a gas station near us that does super low prices on a Sunday. Sometimes the queue goes on for ages and I would imagine people wait more than an hour to fill up their cars. I know it can lead to big savings over the year but I have to admit that I am rather crap with these price comparisons and stuff. I fill up when it is empty and wince when it goes over NOK 600. Perhaps I should start paying more attention! xxx

    • Hey Cris! I know exactly what you mean. I’m not one for checking the prices either. Everything in NOrway is expensive to me so I just accept it and move on. Eliot, on the other hand, has a new hobby. Everywhere we go he compares the petrol station prices. He’s got it down to such a fine art that he can pretty much predict prices all along the E18 from Sandvika to Oslo. Quite a talent :-) Let me know if you still want that coffee…only if you’re up to it

  2. Something similar happens in Australia, although the fluctuation isn’t that bad. The logic is different though – people want to drive to lots of fun places/run errands on the weekend so they don’t have time to hunt for good fuel prices – so it’s more expensive Friday, Saturday, sometimes even Sunday. Tuesday is the cheapest day because no one usually needs fuel then, or they’re not thinking about it. Funny how it’s the opposite in Norway!

    • Hi Kat – well I guess down under everything happens upside down and opposite directions :-) I like the logic though – people work to live in Australia and clearly travel more at the weekends to have fun :-)

  3. A friend of mine who worked at a petrol station told me that petrol prices is usually reset on Mondays (goes up). Which is a common “understanding” between the companies. Then they used to keep in touch about what prices they had ånd adjusted their own accordingly. This is of course illegal, so now they have to (are supposed to) get the data on other stations the manual way.

    So now they basically all start high on Mondays, and work their way competitively down towards Sunday and a new reset.

    • Ah…you shed some light on the whole petrol price issue. That is so true! It’s so expensive on Monday yet Sunday is much cheaper. They are so blatant with their price changes… unbelievable


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