Tuesday, 15 July 2008


In what must stand as a major triumph for ‘citizen journalism’ in the Middle East, I can exclusively reveal to you that this silly little blog has scooped The Gulf News in a deep and fundamental way. Well, in a small and silly way at least.

Today’s multi-kilo wodge of tree landed on my desk containing the excellent story, ‘Special petrol shortage in some pumps’, reporting that ADNOC had run out of ‘Special’ grade petrol (95 octane to you, mate). As regular readers of this motley collection of half-baked bibble will attest, you read it here first - last week, in fact!

I shall refrain from any unseemly triumphalism.

GN also features another story that featured elsewhere first: yesterday’s edition of The National carried the story (chucklesomely headlined ‘Diesel demand delays drivers’) that Abu Dhabi was groaning under the strain of supplying enough diesel to meet the massive demand for ADNOC’s cheap diesel – currently retailing at Dhs10 less than other brands of diesel. As has been mentioned here before, the resultant tailbacks have been massive and Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have both implemented rules to send trucks and large vehicles outside the city limits to refuel.

As GN points out in its story today, ADNOC is not answering press calls, which is really not the way to manage the situation (as we saw yesterday with Etisalat). That’s a shame, because this story is really quite fun.

Why should fuel shortages in Abu Dhabi tickle me?

Well, let’s reflect on this for a second. One of the world’s largest oil producers and a country where the stuff, literally, comes out of the ground, is now facing a wide range of transportation challenges, including the danger of not being able to ferry workers to building sites and food to retailers. Because it’s run out of fuel.


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