Business as usual says Emarat after fuel shortage

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By Gavin Davids  www.arabianbusiness.com

Emarat’s petrol stations are back in business after delivery problems caused a four-day fuel shortage at stations across Dubai.

Dubai taxiStaff were forced to turn motorists away after a delayed fuel shipment halted supplies and saw pumps across the city run dry, but station managers said Thursday normal service had resumed.

“Today, we received 18,000 litres of fuel supply in the morning [Thursday].  Things are back to normal and we expect to receive a further 18,000 this afternoon,” a station manager, who declined to be named, told Arabian Business.

A spokesperson for Emarat said the shortage was caused by a “logistical problem” at the company’s supply depots.

“It was a logistical problem, a shipment did not arrive on time, which [in turn] led to the delays,” an Emarat spokesperson told Arabian Business.

This is the latest in a series of fuel shortages for the government-owned oil company. In September, the company said that technical failures had hampered supply.

Rival gas station operator, Enoc, said it had been forced to pick up the slack in supply, increasing pressure on its own outlets to keep pace with demand.

“The challenge is in delivery, we transport fuel from Jebal Ali to different stations across Dubai and the Northern Emirates. There’s likely to be some delays, but not more than one hour [per delivery time for each station],” said Khalid Hadi, director of corporate communications at Enoc.

The UAE is the world’s third largest exporter of crude oil. It has long subsidised fuel prices in an effort to cut living costs for residents despite it costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

In January, Emarat’s chairman, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, said that the operator needed to restructure and obtain bank loans because it had to sell gasoline at below market prices. He said then that there was a one dirham gap between the cost and the selling price of fuel.

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