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
 Dec 25 2014 - Kuwait's KNPC to increase natural gas capacityMENAFN
(MENAFN) Kuwait National Petroleum Company announced that it will raise its natural gas production capacity to more than two billion cubic feet a day after commissioning a new plant in the country, ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Iraqi Prime Minister Heads to TurkeyQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Iraqi prime minister Haider Abadi began Thursday morning a two-day official visit to Turkey. During the visit, Abadi will hold talks with Turkish officials on means of developing ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Turkey Condemns Deadly Explosion in BaghdadQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Turkey has condemned an explosion in the Iraqi capital Baghdad that killed around 50 people on Wednesday. "We strongly condemn this reprehensible attack that targeted Iraq's ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Saudi projects huge deficit as oil price drop bitesAFP
(MENAFN - AFP) Saudi Arabia announced a 2015 budget with a huge deficit Thursday as the world's largest crude exporter begins to feel the impact of its own decision not to shore up oil prices. The ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Abraaj, Kellogg bidding war continues for Egypt's Bisco MisrMENAFN
(MENAFN) The bidding war between UAE's Abraaj and Kellogg Co, the world's largest breakfast cereal maker, continues to intensify to acquire the USD144 million worth Egyptian snack maker Bisco Misr as ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Qatar's beIN to buy USD820m stake in Turkish TVMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's beIN Media Group, which runs beIN Sports, announced it has agreed to pay USD820 million for the acquisition of 53 percent of Turkish pay-TV giant Digiturk, Arabian Business ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Arab region to invest USD356b on power projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) According to a new study by Kuwaiti-based Arab fund for economic and social development (AFESD), Arab states will need to pay nearly USD356 billion in investments for the construction of ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Summary of Local News ReleasedWednesday - 1-Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) - Trading volume of real estate last week December 14-17 was worth in excess of QR 567 million, the Real Estate Registration and Authentication Department at the Ministry of Justice ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Zionist soldiers gun down Hamas fighterArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) GAZA CITY: Israel launched an airstrike in southern Gaza on Wednesday and killed a Hamas man.Palestinian medical sources said Tayseer Al-Ismary 33 was killed 'as a result of ...

 Dec 25 2014 - 'IS responsible for pilot's safety'Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) AMMAN: Islamic State fighters took a Jordanian pilot captive after his warplane came down in northeast Syria on Wednesday the first captive taken from the US-led coalition ...

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