TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia increased its import of oil by 8.5 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to last year and is now at 378 323 764 kg.

Analysts say the increasing import is related to larger numbers of tourists visiting the country.

The figure was worked out by the Union of Oil Product Import and includes fuel and diesel. The growth in sheer mass is 32 tons compared to the same period in 2011.

The organization explains that this year, prices of oil were high, and the period has seen a new all time high.

Customers in Georgia are now trying to switch to an alternative source for fueling their cars: natural gas. The price of auto gas is much more stable and cheaper: 1.10 lari per cubic meter.

The Union also explains that the level of consumption of fuel has stayed the same with no significant rise or drop.

It further informs that this year, the consumption of regular type of fuel was 70 percent, which is 7 percent more than same period last year; premium – 26.5 percent (more than 6 percent), super – 3 percent (almost same as last year), Euro diesel – 31.62 percent (more than 4 percent), 62 mark diesel – 68 percent (more than 3 percent).

The increase in these categories, according to the Union, is lately auto parks are renewed in both government and private sectors.

“Together with increasing use of oil, the income of the state budget increases. This is important for the country. In general, the increase in fuel consumption is caused by economic growth, large scale infrastructure projects, transit transfers, more active agricultural activity, flow of tourists, generally increasing auto-park,” a representative of the Union of Oil Product Import says, adding that they expect even more increase as we enter the tourist season.