Bahrain will increase the price of natural gas sold to companies by 25 cents per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from April 1, Aluminium Bahrain said in a statement on Friday.
ALBA said it was informed by state-run Bahrain Petroleum Co (BAPCO) that natural gas prices will be raised to $2.50 per mmBtu from $2.25, according to state news agency BNA.
The price will then rise 25 cents on April 1 each year until it reaches $4 per mmBtu by April 1, 2021.
Earlier this month, Bahrain’s cabinet decided to the raise price of natural gas sold to companies, in a sign the government is seeking ways to save money as the plunge in global oil prices pressures state finances.
Last September, when Brent crude was at $97 a barrel, analysts surveyed by Reuters projected that the kingdom would run a state budget deficit of 5.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2015. Brent is now at about $49, so the deficit may turn out to be much bigger.
Reducing subsidies is a politically sensitive issue, however. In December 2013, the National Oil and Gas Authority said it would gradually raise the domestic selling price for diesel fuel, almost doubling it by 2017. But the plan was suspended after protests by some members of parliament.