3.1 Bhutan Fuel

Fuel Overview

The entire fuel supply for Bhutan is supplied by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL-59%) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL-41%) through three private distributors in the country, Bhutan Oil Corporation (BOC), Druk Petroleum, and Damchen Petroleum. These three distributors service 48 fuel stations across the country. The quality and price of fuel in Bhutan is regulated by the Department of Trade (DoT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. All three distributors offer the same price as fixed by DoT.

BOC is the largest distributor and has 30 fuel stations all around the country. It has a storage capacity of 250 kilolitres (kl) at each of its three regional depots located at Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar and has storage capacity of 100 kl of Jet A1 at Paro International Airport. The second largest distributor is Druk Petroleum which operates 10 fuel stations and has storage capacity of 200 kl at Phuentsholing, 75 kl at Thimphu and 140 kl at Gelephu.

For emergencies, as a reserve, the government has around 1,000 kl (around 300,000 litres of petrol and 700,000 litres of diesel) at Dechencholing, Thimphu. In the capital, there are five fuel depots which have 345 kl of back-up storage (165,000 litres of petrol and 180,000 litres of diesel).

The Bhutan Oil Corporation (BOC) operates a Jet A1 fuel station at Paro International Airport. Its storage capacity is 100 kl and also has 20 kl of re-fillers at the site. The manager advises that this stock is adequate for some 14 days of supply to the available aircrafts. The price of 1 litre of Jet A1 fuel is BTN 47.94 (USD 0.75).

For more information on government and fuel provider contact details, please see the following links: HQ staff will input links to sections 4.1 Government Contact List and 4.7 Fuel Providers Contact List here.

Information may also be found at: which is updated monthly. 

Fuel Pricing

The Department of Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) regulates the price of fuel in Bhutan and is slightly different for different districts depending on the transportation cost. The price of fuel is directly influenced by the market price of fuel in India for diesel and petrol. However, Government of India (GoI) provides a subsidy for liquid petroleum gas and kerosene. For all import of fuel the RGOB imposes 5 % sales tax and 5 % green tax.


Fuel Prices per Litre as of: 05 07 2017, All prices are ex Thimphu

(local currency and USD - $)


BTN 59.35 (USD 0.91)


BTN 53.77 (USD  0.83)


BTN 26.33 (USD 0.41)

Jet A-1

BTN 47.94 (USD 0.75)

Seasonal Variations 

There is no seasonal variation in the terms of supply of fuel from India. However, during the monsoon season, many of the roads connecting the different parts of Bhutan can get blocked in that way preventing the fuel stations from receiving supplies. In 2016, numerous road blocks did affect Bumthang and Trongsa districts leading to fuel shortages. The situation came under control as soon as the roads were restored. During such times, fuel stations practice rationing to avoid hoarding by some consumers.


Seasonal Variations

Are there national priorities in the availability of fuel? (i.e. are there restrictions or priorities for the provision of fuel such as to the military?)


Is there a rationing system?

In principle there is no rationing with the exception of cooking gas. However, during emergencies when there is short supply of fuel, cars of different size are issued only specific amount of petrol or diesel.

Is fuel to lower income / vulnerable groups subsidized?

There is no subsidy for diesel and petrol but there is subsidy on LPG and Kerosene for all the citizen.

Can the local industry expand fuel supply to meet humanitarian needs?

Yes, if the roads are accessible and provided India makes supplies available.

Is it possible for a humanitarian organization to directly contract a reputable supplier / distributor to provide its fuel needs?


Fuel Transportation

Due to its mountainous terrain and narrow roads, large tankers cannot be used to transport fuel in Bhutan. Therefore fuel is transported using tankers with a carrying capacity of 9-12 kl. The Bhutan Oil Corporation owns 36 such tankers, while Druk petroleum has 22 tankers which are used for transportation of fuel from its regional depots to the retail outlets across the country.

Standards, Quality and Testing

Department of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economic Affairs regulates the quality and standard of fuel supplied to Bhutan. All fuel entering Bhutan is tested and certified by IOCL and BPCL and when it reaches the country, the receiving entity also conducts quality, density and impurity checks before offloading. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry, conducts the tests every month at each fuel station to ensure that the standards are maintained.

Bharat Stage (BS) emission standards, introduced in India in 2000, are fuel emission standards that have been set up by the central government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment including motor vehicles. IOCL confirms that all the supplies that are coming to Bhutan have BS IV standards.


Industry Control Measures

Do tanks have adequate protection against water mixing with the fuel?


Are there filters in the system which monitor where fuel is loaded into aircraft?


Is there adequate epoxy coating of tanks on trucks?


Is there a presence of suitable firefighting equipment?


Standards Authority

Is there a national or regional standards authority?


If yes, please identify the appropriate national and/or regional authority.

National: Bhutan Standard Bureau

Regional: Bureau of Indian Standards

If yes, are the standards adequate/properly enforced?


Testing Laboratories

Are there national testing laboratories?

Yes  with Department of Trade in Thimphu



Fuel Quality Testing Laboratory


Department of Trade


Dr. Tshewang Choki


Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Thimphu





Standards Used

As per Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB)


Disclaimer: Inclusion of company information in the LCA does not imply any business relationship between the supplier and WFP / Logistics Cluster, and is used solely as a determinant of services, and capacities.

Please note: WFP / Logistics Cluster maintain complete impartiality and are not in a position to endorse, comment on any company's suitability as a reputable service provider.



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