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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid