Damascus is reducing the amount of gasoline earmarked for cars in a deepening fuel crisis

Oil
File Reuters

SYRIA (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Syrian oil ministry on Monday reduced the amount of gasoline allocated to private cars to 20 liters every five days in a new investigative measure that reflects a worsening fuel crisis in the country.

For about two weeks, the Syrian government controlled areas have been gripped by traffic jams in front of gas stations. Drivers are forced to queue up hundreds of meters and wait hours before they receive a limited amount.

Citizens have driven their cars manually to the fuel station instead of running them to provide as much gas as possible, while the streets of the two of them have been empty of normal traffic and garbage containers have been stacked up because garbage trucks can not collect them.

In Monday’s statement, the ministry identified 20 liters of gasoline allowed for private cars, 20 liters every two days for public taxis, and three liters every five days for motorcycles. She confirmed that the measure was “temporary in order to distribute benzene fairly to all owners of the mechanisms.”

After months of severe shortages, especially in gas cylinders and diesel, the crisis has recently widened to overtake gasoline. The decision of the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources III in ten days, reducing the allowed daily amount of private cars from 40 to 20 liters ten days ago and then become 20 liters every two days.

The decision comes after the government announced new austerity measures to deal with the crisis, stressing at the same time that work is underway to resolve the crisis.

Qusay, a taxi driver, was forced to sleep in his car on Monday night in Mazzeh, waiting for his turn to take a line in front of the fuel station.

“I got into an advanced role after midnight and there were less than 20 cars in front of me, but the petrol ran out of the station and I waited until this morning hoping to get 20 liters,” the 30-year-old told AFP.

But “the station is still closed so far and has not reached the allocated amounts.”

After waiting four hours in front of a fuel station, Ahmad al-Hamawi, 45, surrendered and returned. “I will try to forget my car in the coming days and I will go to work,” the radio director told AFP.

In the fuel crisis, government officials have repeatedly blamed economic sanctions imposed by several Arab and Western countries, preventing the arrival of oil tankers. Recent US sanctions on Tehran, Damascus’s main backer, have exacerbated the fuel crisis in Syria, which relies on a credit line that links it to Iran to secure oil mainly.

During a meeting with local journalists about 10 days ago, Prime Minister Imad Khamis explained that the Iranian credit line had been suspended for six months and that the Suez Canal had not allowed the passage of six tankers to Syria for six months.

Syria’s production of oil before the outbreak of the conflict in 2011 was about 400 thousand barrels per day, while not exceeding 14 thousand barrels now. The sector suffered major losses during the conflict, while most of the oil and gas fields remain under the control of Syria’s US-backed democratic forces in northern and eastern Syria.

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