Sharjah calls for immediate end to fuel shortages

Sharjah Executive Council demands answers from ENOC Group after closure of many petrol stations
Sharjah calls for immediate end to fuel shortages
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 08 Jun 2011 10:15 PM

The Sharjah Executive Council (SEC) on Wednesday demanded an immediate end to the fuel shortages in the emirate.

It also called on the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Group to explain the reasons which led to the closure of many of its petrol stations.

In recommendations issued after a meeting to discuss the fuel crisis, the SEC said it wanted answers from ENOC group, the parent company of retailers EPPCO and ENOC, within 48 hours.

"The recommendations were issued out of the SEC's keenness to provide consumers with their daily demands, and petrol is one of these basic needs," SEC said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM on Wednesday.

"The SEC General Secretariat is waiting for ENOC's response about the real reasons behind the fuel disruption so as to facilitate looking into proper solutions which can return the situation to normalcy and spare the consumers the pain of fuel supply disruption which started since late May and continues up to today," the SEC statement added.

It said ENOC had claimed the two-week disruption was due to ongoing maintenance which has kept about 82 petrol stations out of action in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

Earlier on Wednesday, analysts said fuel shortages that have left petrol pumps dry at stations across the UAE were likely the result of $100 oil squeezing state-owned retailers.

The UAE, the world's third largest exporter of crude oil, has long subsidised fuel prices in an effort to cut living costs for residents, a move that costs the state millions of dollars a year.

ENOC and rival state-owned retailer Emarat have suffered from rising oil prices because they buy fuel at market prices and sell it at government-set rates.

In April, ENOC said it expected to spend AED2.7bn ($735m) this year on providing fuel subsidies. The figure represents a 44 percent rise from the AED1.5bn it spent in 2010.

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