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 Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid