Why the petrol shortages in oil rich Kurdistan?

petrol 1

Petrol queue in Suli this week

Photos by Maryam Ashrāfi:

Commentary by our Suli correspondent

The Kurdistan Region is closer than ever to becoming an independent state whose prosperity can be assured by burgeoning exports of crude oil. However, the daily reality for many citizens is currently huge queues to try and get enough petrol to go to work. Why is this – and what can be done about it?

The problem lies in both the possibly terminal Iraqi conflict and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) long-term poor provision for fuel refining. The KRG has been producing 50% of its fuel from the local refineries of Bazyan in Suli and Kawrgosk in Erbil. There are actually 122 refineries in the region, but aside from these two, the rest don’t possess licences and their quality of production is poor. Until recently, another 20% came from the Baijy refinery – but now this is controlled by ISIS. The remaining 30% is imported from Turkey (Kurdish oil is taken to Turkey for refining and then brought back).

petrol 4

The KRG’s best immediate option is to increase the 30% of imports from Turkey to 50%.

It also needs to:

  • Stop refined fuel being smuggled to the middle and southern part of Iraq and sold for more than 900% of the price it gets in the Kurdistan region.
  •  Work on upgrading the low quality refineries to a better standard and steadily increase local production.

petrol 2

petrol 3

petrol 5

  •  Allow the private sector to import fuel from Iran, but regulate the price and distribution.
  • Ban and punish individuals who are re-selling – those who queue up for several hours and get 30 litres for 15,000 ID – and then re-sell 20 litres for 45,000 ID on the street. This is a very dangerous business because they are handling fuel on the street in 45+ degrees heat with a hose and a container!

All photos taken in Suli

Maryam Ashrāfi: www.maryamashrafi.com

One Response to Why the petrol shortages in oil rich Kurdistan?
  1. Ayaz
    July 2, 2014 | 17:07

    KRG President Barzani: Declare independence after the month of Ramazan whether The United States likes it or not. Waiting is an absolute waste of time. No need for referendums in months. Baghdad Central Government is being empowered and once Irans nuclear deal is finalized, it would even be more complicated.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL https://kurdistantribune.com/why-petrol-shortages-oil-rich-kurdistan/trackback/