CAIRO, Egypt - Despite government denials, Egyptian gasoline stations have been experiencing a shortage of fuel for weeks, Daily News Egypt reports. Official media reports are trumpeting no fuel crisis, but local retailers are countering with evidence to the contrary.
"Stations are not getting their share of fuel but people think we are hoarding it or selling it on the black market. The truth is there is no petrol," said Iman Derbala, who owns and manages Mobil Derbala gas station.
Usually, Derbala receives 30,000 liters of fuel daily, but for days, she only gets 10,000 liters. Her station has not received a full shipment for 12 consecutive days so far. "It is possible that the army or government stations are getting more than their share," she said.
At another Mobil gasoline station, Ahmed Abdel Hay said each grade of gasoline has been short. "This has been going on for a month, but has only been covered by the media over the past few days," he said. "We don€™t get the amounts we request. We order 50,000 liters but only 7,000 are delivered, which only meets the demand for about an hour."
In contrast, Morad Mahmoud Sabri, an employee at the national Co-op gas station, said they have plenty of fuel. "Gasoline 80, 90, 92 are all available. But we are a public sector company. Of course there are respectable private sector companies, but some of them could be selling the fuel in the black market," he said.
Others blame a corrupt distribution system for siphoning off fuel that should go to Egyptian private-sector gasoline stations. "The Ministry of Petroleum said that fuel is available and that there is an increase in the share from last year. Assuming the government is honest, then there is corruption within the distribution," said Tamer Abu Bakr, president of the energy committee in the industrial union.