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
 Aug 29 2015 - Abraaj exists Condor Travel stake to CarlyleMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai-based Abraaj Group has announced the signing of an agreement to exit its stake in Condor Travel to The Carlyle Group.The exit, through Abraaj's Latin American Fund, marks the first ...

 Aug 29 2015 - GCC construction contracts to drop to USD194b in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Construction in the GCC will increase in value despite a slight dip in the overall contract awards this year caused in part by cheap oil, according to an industry expert.The man behind the ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Middle East business confidence continues to drop in Q2MENAFN
(MENAFN) Business confidence in the Middle East continued to fall in the second quarter of 2015, but not as quickly as it had in the first three months of the year, according to a new survey.The ...

 Aug 29 2015 - 9 hours battling death at sea off the Libyan coastThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Pakistani teenager Shefaz Hamza spent nine hours at sea clinging to the wreckage of a migrant boat that sank off Libya. By the time the coast guard arrived his mother and ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Qatar Exchange index jumps 3.08pcThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Exchange (QE) index finished in the green yesterday, after a sharp rise in all sectors. The market gained 3.08 percent or 337.84 points to reach 11,295.46. The market ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Arabs brace for weak oil for rest of 2015The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A second oil price rout of 2015 has forced Arab Opec members to cut their price expectations for this year, showing they are prepared to tolerate cheaper crude for longer to ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Lebanon- Hezbollah, Christian allies boycott cabinet meetingThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and allied Christian politicians boycotted a cabinet meeting yesterday, a sign of rising political tensions that have paralysed Prime ...

 Aug 29 2015 - IS kills two generals in IraqThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group killed two Iraqi generals yesterday in the key battleground province of Anbar, as the militants made gains in ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Iraq- At least 11 Daesh Militants Killed in AnbarThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) 11 Daesh militants, some of them belonging to foreign nationalities, were killed in a pre-emptive attack against a hideout of the organization east of Ramadi city, in Anbar ...

 Aug 29 2015 - At least 78 dead in Libya refugee boat disasterThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) At least 76 people have died after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants and refugees sank off the coast of Libya, the Libyan Red Crescent said Friday. The United Nations ...

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