Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Dubai Runs Out Of Petrol

Oil (petroleum) dropImage via WikipediaYou couldn't make it up, could you? Dubai, part of major oil producing nation the United Arab Emirates, has run out of fuel. Seriously. Look, it's in a real, honest-to-goodness newspaper: Dubai's super-smashin' tabloid Seven Days.  

Gulf News, BTW, filed the story as a brief, linked here, nestled at the bottom of page 28 in regional business news.

Now to be honest, this isn't first time we've seen one of the world's richest oil producing nations running out of petrol. I've posted in the past about how ADNOC - the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company - caused massive queues after its pricing policy meant it literally couldn't keep up with demand. And Emarat has had similar problems in the past - last year, queues at the company's pumps were caused by shortages, with explanations differing apparently - This story in GN last year contained this telling quote:

"Emarat is finding it difficult to get bank loans to enable it continue to sell petrol below cost, so it's trying to ration the limited quantity of gasoline it has. The company is incurring a daily loss of about Dh2 million due to the subsidy on the fuel and compensation from other businesses such as convenience stores isn't enough to cover the losses," an Emarat source told Gulf News.

A later version of the story was filed over six hours later. It's the same as the story above except it cites 'technical issues' rather than the subsidy issue discussed in the earlier version of the story. The later file is linked here.Whether the issue was 'technical'or not, GN appears to have accepted the later explanation given by the company of the shortage being caused by a: "technical problems in the logistics supplies of gasoline product in the major reservoirs." rather than the juicier subsidy angle and look forward to 'clarification' at Emarat's convenience.

Gulf News' piece online yesterday gave no reason for Emarat's shortages and 7Days notes Emarat wasn't 'available for comment'. We can only assume 'technical issues' are once again to blame.

As usual, it's the poor old cabbies who are getting screwed over the most. Dubai Transport cabs are restricted to filling up only at Emarat stations, so they're getting increasingly desperate as their fuel gauges hit 'empty' and the forecourts do the same.
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Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

I complain to the Editor about missing articles, but the other way around!

Items printed but not available online, then at a later stage posted online, if a brouhaha has been created.

Now back to the Easter eggs!

James O'Hearn said...

So I wasn't going mad after all!

I pulled up to the Emarat just before Garhoud Bridge late the other night, and it felt like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie, the place being uncharacteristically deserted, and a half dozen attendants sitting on the curb tell the customers that there is no more fuel.

Dave said...

Too funny...

Jansait said...

so it happened faster than they thought it would? hehe

Anonymous said...

For some reason, Emarat has to go all the way to Singapore or somewhere to buy fuel. Then they want Singapore style high prices so they dont make a loss. All at the same time when other GCC Countries and ADNOC are not incurring losses.

So if Emarat is unable to make a profit shouldnt they just close down instead of asking for European prices for petrol in an oil rich country?

Its like a Thai fruit seller who buys durians in Dubai, ships them back to Thailand and wants all fruitsellers in Thailand to charge high prices for the Durian.
Thats a very simplistic way of looking at it, but why Emarat is the only company in all of GCC facing such problems ?

Anonymous said...

Emarat is not the only GCC company facing problems. When crude oil is $150/bbl, but you sell fuel at controlled and very low prices, by definition you are losing money (or, in another way of thinking about it, foregoing massively higher revenue).

In many GCC countries fuel retailing is nationalised and so the retailer is able to buy fuel at low prices from the national refining company, who in turn buys crude oil at a discount from the national oil company, thus pushing the subsidy back up the chain to the wellhead.

Dubai doesn't have any significant oil reserves to speak of, so Emarat's model is different. It has to buy fuel (or refine it from crude oil, I don't know if it has any refining) at international prices but sell it at UAE prices.

sheban said...

New Rule: Expats forced to purchase a Toyota Prius for visa renewals...

Ijaz Hussain said...

how could it possible, dubai is very beautiful city and best place for tourism.

cheap car rental dubai

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