Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10 Countries With The Cheapest Gas At The Pump -

10 Countries With The Cheapest Gas At The Pump -

In recent years, drivers have felt it each time they pull into a gas station: a sudden pang in the heart, and a low whimper sounding from their wallets. One gallon of gas in the United States cost $3.417 on Oct. 10. That's significantly off the $4 or more drivers had to shell out in recent years. (For more on the ever changing gas prices, see The Gas Price Rollercoaster.)

Cheapest at the Pump

It's not that way everywhere. In fact, in some countries gas is given away or downright cheap. The countries where you can find the cheapest gas at the pump, in U.S. dollars per gallon (2010):

1. Venezuela (7.6 cents)
2. Iran (37.9 cents)
3. Saudi Arabia (60.6 cents)
4. Libya (64.4 cents)
5. Qatar (71.9 cents)
6. Bahrain (79.5 cents)
7. Turkmenistan (83.3 cents)
8. Kuwait (87.1 cents)
9. Oman ($1.173)
10. Algeria ($1.211)

You may notice some similarities between these countries. First, none of these countries are considered to have developed economies. Second, none are considered to be full democracies. Third, they are all countries where you might expect to find oil. Reordering the above ranking according to the "CIA Factbook's" oil production and consumption statistics for 2010.

Saudi Arabia (No. 1 production, No. 8 consumption)
Iran (No. 5 production, No. 14 consumption)
Kuwait (No. 11 production, No. 36 consumption)
Venezuela (No. 13 production, No. 24 consumption)
Algeria (No. 16 production, No. 40 consumption)
Libya (No. 18 production, No. 46 consumption)
Qatar (No. 20 production, No. 62 consumption)
Oman (No. 25 production, No. 70 consumption)
Turkmenistan (No. 41 production, No. 72 consumption)
Bahrain (No. 64 production, No. 101 consumption)

Why so Low?

Some countries consume more than they produce (Bahrain), while Turkmenistan (1.7 barrels produced/consumed), Iran (2.3 barrels produced/consumed) and Venezuela (3.18 barrels produced/consumed) almost do. Why would a country that produces so much oil want to keep prices at home so cheap, and thus keep demand high? One reason is that low prices help governments present a picture of being benevolent, especially in countries facing high poverty rates. Another reason is that it sends a message that a country's resources can be used at home as well.

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