Iraqis fear fuel crisis as shortages hit Baghdad, Mosul

Iraqis fear fuel crisis as shortages hit Baghdad, Mosul
Long queues have been seen at petrol stations in Baghdad, Mosul, and Kirkuk, with some stations closing, amid unexplained shortages in fuel supply.
2 min read
16 March, 2022
Long queues for petrol have been seen in Mosul [Getty]

Fuel shortages have hit several areas of Iraq, with petrol stations closing in Baghdad and the northern provinces of Nineveh and Kirkuk causing panic across the country.

Local sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language service that long lines were forming outside the petrol stations that are still open.

"Thirty percent of the petrol stations in the capital have been closed since two days ago, without authorities or the oil ministry explaining why, while open stations have seen long queues," one source said.

"There is no change in prices but there's a crisis in providing petrol," the source added.

Ibrahim Emad, a taxi driver from Baghdad's Dora district told The New Arab's Arabic-service that he had "passed four petrol stations on the Mohammed Al-Qasem highway, and they were all closed".

"The station staff told me they had no fuel, particularly petrol," he said.

In Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, huge queues have been reported outside petrol stations for the past seven days. Queues this long have not been seen in the city since it was liberated from the rule of the Islamic State extremist group in 2017.

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Najm Al-Jabouri, the provincial governor of Nineveh, previously said that some of Nineveh's oil was being smuggled out of the province, and he had ordered security forces to take measures to prevent this.

Nineveh province is assigned two million litres of fuel every day – the highest amount of any province aside from Baghdad.

In nearby Kirkuk province, petrol is being rationed as a result of the shortages.

The New Arab's Arabic-language service contacted an official at Iraq's oil ministry who said the crisis "was natural and would not develop".

"It happens from time to time and the ministry is now working to supply provinces that have seen a shortage of petrol with more fuel," he added.

Iraq has huge reserves of oil and is OPEC's second-largest producer, pumping out an estimated 3.5 million barrels a day.