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
 Jul 4 2015 - Russian cargo ship heads to ISSThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off yesterday to deliver a cargo ship loaded with food, water and equipment to the International Space Station, breaking a string of launch ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Doha Bank raises QR2bn Tier 1 capital-boosting bondThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) In March, the bank said that it would issue capital-enhancing bonds with a perpetual tenor and an option for the bank to redeem them after six years, to boost the bank's Tier ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Qatar stock index edges lower this weekThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) index edged lower this week when the bourse closed Thursday at 12,121.08 points, down 12.15 points, or 0.10 percent.The traded value of QR 1.32bn ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Mideast passenger demand growth soars 14pc: IATAThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for May showing strong demand growth compared to May 2014 for both domestic and ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Qatar- Milaha acquires 100pc controls in two liquefied gas carriersThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Milaha announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Qatar Shipping Company, acquired the remaining 60 percent interest in each of the two entities that own the liquefied ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Tunisia arrests eight with 'direct links' to beach massacreThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Tunisia has arrested eight people in connection with last week's jihadist massacre at a seaside resort, as the remains of more British victims were set to be flown home ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Egyptian air strikes kill 23 militants in North Sinai: sourcesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Egypt launched air strikes on Islamist militant targets in the Sinai peninsula on Thursday, killing 23 fighters a day after the deadliest clashes in the region in years, ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Saudi opens privatised airport for pilgrimsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Saudi Arabia yesterday officially opened a billion-dollar aviation gateway aimed at pilgrims, in its first airport privatisation. Local media said Custodian of the Two Holy ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Kuwaiti Sunni and Shi'ite worshippers, pray together with Emir showing unityThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Kuwait deployed unprecedented security measures around Shiite mosques for Friday prayers following last week's deadly bombing, as the emir attended a rare Shiite-Sunni joint ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Top jihadist from Tunisia killed by US strike in LibyaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A top Tunisian jihadist was killed by a US airstrike in Libya last month, The New York Times reported Friday.The jihadist, Seifallah Ben Hassine, also known as Abu Ayadh, was ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

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