Libya’s Tripoli-based Prime Minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabiba said that there are no fuel or cooking gas shortages. Aldabaiba was reacting to the long petrol queues at stations and long queues for gas cylinders at the cylinder depos.
Aldabaiba had arranged for various officials, including from Brega Marketing (the National Oil Corporation subsidiary responsible for importing, transporting and distributing fuels) and the Fuel Crisis Committee to speak at the cabinet meeting.
Aldabaiba asked them to give an update on the crisis and on his previous demands that petrol stations operate for 24 hours, that they install generators to circumvent power cuts and to install cameras.
Plenty of fuel and gas cylinders in stock
Brega and the Fuel Crisis Committee reported that there was no fuel shortage and that stocks were available.
They said the problem was power cuts, the high temperatures and the road closures caused by demonstrations that had prevent trucks delivering fuel to petrol stations.
They admitted that not all petrol stations had installed generators, security cameras nor opened for 24 hours. They agreed that they would double the number of petrol stations open for 24 hours.
They revealed that Tripoli usually consumes between 5 to 5.7 million litres of fuel per day and 30,000 gas cylinders are distributed per day. During the last few days 7 million litres of fuel were distributed each day. They explained that this is normal high demand during times of crisis or festivities.
It was explained that many fill their tanks up in anticipation that petrol stations will be closed or empty over the Eid festivities next weekend. Others react to the petrol queues by filling up even though they don’t plan to take long trips and their tanks are half full.
The main cause of delayed deliveries were the burning of tyres at road closures. Many truck drivers would not set off with full fuel tankers with fires at crossroads.
The officials admitted not all petrol stations had reacted to demands to install generators security cameras. They revealed that if they don’t by the set deadline of 17 July they may be closed. They insisted petrol queues will be over by Tuesday.
The main factor that would reduce the likelihood of fuel shortages would be for the NOC to build the new storage tanks – which GNU has approved.
Nevertheless, Aldabaiba said that poor management was also part of the problem as not all roads were closed by demonstrators all of the time and not all areas had demonstrators or road closures.