News / Africa

Eastern Libya Able to Keep Gasoline Coming

The oil refinery at Ras Lanouf last month when was still in rebel hands, March 5, 2011
The oil refinery at Ras Lanouf last month when was still in rebel hands, March 5, 2011

The conflict in Libya has set oil markets on edge, with rising gasoline prices being one of the immediate effects. There are also shortages in parts of Libya, but in the rebel-run east, prices remain low, and local officials have been able to keep the pumps full.

Perhaps the hardest hit Libyan city is rebel-held Misrata, where daily mortar and rocket attacks by government troops push the availability of gasoline low on the list of priorities.

In Tripoli, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi maintains that the needs of daily life are being met. But even state TV has shown long lines of cars trying to get gas.

In contrast, few problems have surfaced in the east.

Taxi driver Awad, who works on the highway between his hometown Gawrasha, south of Benghazi, and Ajdabiya, says there has been no decrease in supplies since the uprising began in February.

And the price is extremely low. In a country of vast distances and abundant oil, gasoline is normally about 12 cents a liter. In one of several placating acts as the demonstrations mounted, Colonel Gadhafi ordered the price of a liter dropped even lower, to eight cents.

The cost was so cheap, and anti-Gadhafi sentiment so high, that in the beginning, some gas stations were giving it away free to the rebel fighters.

Faraj Faitouri, who manages a gas station in Benghazi, says he now asks the fighters to pay like everyone else, to cover the bills coming from the suppliers.

The bulk of those supplies - 95 Octane - is now coming from a refinery in Tobruk, near the Egyptian border. Earlier shipments came from Sarir, further south, but the refinery there was hit a few weeks ago. Diesel, for bigger vehicles, is also widely available.

With gas stations still open all the way to the frontline, now in Ajdabiya, most of the major cities in the east are doing fine.

Faitouri worries there might be shortages in some smaller towns near the front, as gasoline trucks are wary of getting too close.

With government forces able to strike at a fair distance, Fatouri calls the supply trucks "moving bombs."

Even if local supplies were to run low, there are reports that help is on the way. The European oil trader Vitol is said to have brought in a shipment of gasoline to Benghazi in recent days, but it would not confirm the report.

If it did, it isn't apparent at Faitouri's station.

Like so many things in Libya, Colonel Gadhafi has put his stamp on oil refining ordering all gasoline to be tinted green. The color of his mandatory-reading Green Book, it's also the color of his government's flag, as well as most shop doors and window frames across the country.

Gas station manager Faitouri, enjoying a new found freedom to mock the long serving ruler, says he believes that if he could, the colonel would like Libyans blood to be green as well.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid