Quotes: US 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
 Oct 1 2014 - GCC needs to produce dynamic non-oil sectorMENAFN
(MENAFN) According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in order to maintain sustainable growth, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries have to produce a dynamic non-oil tradable sector ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Kuwait to host 23rd Gulf Cup of NationsArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Sept 30 (KUNA): Kuwait will host the 23rd edition of the Gulf Cup of Nations Kuwait Football Association (KFA) Secretary General Saho Al-Saho said Tuesday. Al-Saho ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Abu Dhabi airport's passenger traffic up 24.8 percent in AugustMENAFN
(MENAFN) Abu Dhabi International Airport's passenger traffic increased by 24.8 percent in August compared to the same month last year, with a total of 1.920.934 passengers passing through the airport ...

 Oct 1 2014 - US Mondelez International to invest USD90m in plant in BahrainMENAFN
(MENAFN), the packaged food company, announced it is planning to build a USD90 million biscuit plant in Bahrain, which will help the company reduce costs and meet growing demand for its biscuits, ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Oman interested to invest in CyprusMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas said that the country is very interested in investing in Cyprus, particularly in the field of research and exploitation of natural gas, Muscat Daily ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Emirates to launch new Dallas flightsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Emirates announced it has launched its first scheduled A380 daily service to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Gulf Business reported.The airline said it expects that the business ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Dubai Development Co. considering several offers of merger or acquisitionMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai Development Co, the company responsible for the Mirdif area of the emirate, announced it is considering several external offers of merger or acquisition, Arabian Business reported.The ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Etihad Rail starts on second phase of USD11bn UAE rail networkMENAFN
(MENAFN) Etihad Rail, the UAE's railway developer, announced it is set to secure government funding and award contracts for the construction of the second phase of its USD11 billion national rail ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Oman Sail teams upbeat over ESS Act 7 challengeMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) As the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) gears up for Act 7 in Nice France to be held later this week Oman Sail's teams on The Wave Muscat and Oman Air are relishing the ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Oman settles for seventh place in Asiad hockeyMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Basim Khatar struck the winner for Oman as it rallied from a goal down to defeat Bangladesh 3-2 in a playoff and clinch the seventh place in hockey in the 17th Asian Games at ...

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

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

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
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

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


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help