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

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid