Abdullah Nasser Al Suwaidi was Saturday named director general of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) following a reshuffle of the UAE’s Supreme Petroleum Council.
The restructuring, led by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also named 10 members to the council that lays down the Gulf state’s petroleum policy, state news agency WAM reported.
The news may signal a policy change after more than four weeks of petrol shortages at more than 80 Dubai-owned Enoc and Eppco stations in the northern emirates.
Adnoc was last week ordered to take action to help solve the fuel shortage and has since ramped up petrol supplies at its filling stations to ease pressure in affected emirates.
Sharjah on Saturday shut down more than 30 Enoc-owned filling stations in the emirate after the fuel retailer failed to comply with a 72-hour deadline to restore fuel supply to its outlets. Barriers were placed at the entrances to the station, barring motorists from entering the forecourts.
The UAE’s third fuel shortage in 10 months was initially blamed on maintenance at petrol stations owned by ENOC and its unit EPPCO, an explanation rejected by Sharjah’s Executive Council.
Analysts say the problem lies in government subsidies, which look increasingly unsustainable as ballooning oil prices drive up the cost of supplying fuel to customers at a cheaper, fixed price.
ENOC and rival state-owned retailer Emarat have suffered because they buy fuel at market prices and sell it at government-set rates. Enoc said in May it would have to meet an additional AED2.7bn ($735.3m) in 2011 to cover the cost of providing subsidised fuel.
Three of the UAE's four fuel retailers - ENOC, EPPCO and federally-owned Emarat - have been making losses for years.
Abu Dhabi-owned Adnoc has faced no fuel interruptions.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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