Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Petrol crisis bites in Iraq's Kurdish region  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 26/06/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) The shutdown of Iraq's biggest refinery, roads blocked by fighting, and skyrocketing demand have created the worst oil crisis in years in the country's autonomous Kurdish region.At petrol stations across the three provinces of the northern region, but particularly in and around the city of Dohuk and the Kurdish regional capital Arbil, lines extend for hours, sometimes even days."I've been here for two hours, and I'm hoping I'll be able to fill up in about another half hour," said 34-year-old engineer Raad, who was queueing in Arbil.He is even lucky to have found a station with gasoline in the city.Many have shut down after running out, blocking entrances and exits with plastic chairs to keep out hopeful customers.The crisis began shortly after Sunni militants, led by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, launched a lightning offensive that has overrun major parts of five Iraqi provinces.As the militants advanced, supply routes were cut and fighting led to a shutdown of the country's largest oil refinery near the town of Baiji, south of the militant-held city of Mosul.The crisis is a "perfect storm of supply and demand problems," said Patrick Osgood, the Kurdistan bureau chief for Iraq Oil Report."On the supply side, the Kurdistan region isn't entirely self-sufficient on refined products including gasoline," he said."It probably produces 60 percent of its demand, but 40 percent it was getting from Baiji."

On the demand side, there has been panic-buying, he said, but also shortages because petrol has been diverted to the city of Kirkuk.Long disputed between the Iraqi federal government and the regional Kurdish authorities, Kirkuk is now being protected by Kurdish peshmerga forces ringed around it after Iraqi army troops abandoned their posts during the militant onslaught.Osgood said after the peshmerga forces moved in, the Kurdish government began routing petrol from one of two refineries in the Kurdish north to Kirkuk, creating shortages in Arbil and elsewhere.- Black market booming -The crisis has also been exacerbated by a burgeoning black market and rationing imposed by the Kurdish government.Outside the city of Dohuk, on the road to Mosul, dozens of young men call out to drivers as they pass."We have petrol, we have petrol!" they shout, some holding syphons in their hands.The gasoline on offer is stored in plastic water containers lined up on the side of the road and costs four time as much as the official price in Kurdish territory of 500 Iraqi dinars (40 US cents) a litre.Most people cannot afford to spend that much and those who can say they avoid it because they fear it has been adulterated and will ruin their cars.The Kurdish government is allotting days for cars to fill up depending on their licence plate number and is also limited the amount customers can buy to 30 litres at a time.This has not prevented people from filling up and then selling the petrol."There shouldn't even be a petrol crisis," 63-year-old Abdulkarim Othman said angrily as he stared at the line in front of him."If everyone only came and filled up once, instead of coming several times and selling it in Kirkuk and Mosul, there wouldn't be a crisis.""This is a crisis that the people have created, not the government."In Arbil, some say they are angry with the regional government for failing to set aside reserves to forestall such a crisis.Many also direct their anger at the federal government in Baghdad, accusing it of withholding petrol from elsewhere in the country.But Osgood said without the Baiji refinery, there simply is not enough petrol to go around."There's no plan B in terms of supply within Iraq," he said."Even before this crisis, Iraq was a net importer of gasoline."Neighbouring Turkey has offered to send petrol to Kurdistan but it would cost double the subsidised 500-dinar rate even at wholesale prices, Osgood said.Another alternative is to bring petrol in from Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, but setting up those supply chains will take time."This problem isn't going away anytime soon," Osgood said.

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 27 2014 - Lebanon mourns 'songbird' SabahArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BEIRUT: Iconic Lebanese singer and actress Sabah died Wednesday at the age of 87 after a seven-decade career and a colorful love life that kept her in the headlines until the ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Egypt drops ban on 'adults only' filmArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) CAIRO: An Egyptian court has revoked a government ban on a film by Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe that had been deemed sexually provocative judicial sources said on Wednesday.In April ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Prince vanishes from social mediaArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NEW YORK: Prince whose distaste for the music industry's conventions is well known has abruptly disappeared from social media after tentative efforts to promote his two new ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Cumberbatch quits smokingArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) LONDON: 'Sherlock' star Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he left smoking one month back.The 38-year-old actor said staying away from cigarette is helping him stay healthy ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Dilip Kumar perfectly fine: Big BArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) MUMBAI: Thespian Dilip Kumar is 'perfectly fine' says actor Amitabh Bachchan quashing rumors of the former's health scare.Social networking platforms were abuzz with rumors ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Turki Khan: Changing society one step at a timeArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Dreams ambitions and determination have no limits dedication to those three traits can take that dreamer ambition-seeker and determined young man or woman to places he or she ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Exploring fine art through pencilArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Eman Al-Qahtani is a successful talented and ambitious young Saudi artist. She combines thoughts and colors in her paintings. She has her own art method; a painting is to deliver ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Qatar lifts 22nd Arabian Gulf CupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Qatar rallied to get the better of Saudi Arabia 2-1 to win the 22nd Arabia Gulf Cup football tournament at the King Fahd International stadium in Riyadh Wednesday night.Playing ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Al Kabeer climbs to No. 2 after honors sweep in Globe CupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) One mighty performance that saw Al Kabeer Frozen Foods sweep honors had the defending champion moving up the leaderboard after the eighth week in the Thursday League 12th ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Al-Taib wins Fastest Car Race 2014 in RiyadhArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Ahmed Al-Taib a Saudi topped the Fastest Car Race 2014 which was organized at Dirab Park racetrack in Riyadh. Al-Taib won the race in a Porsche 911 Turbo which is characterized ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help