Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Fuel prices soar ahead of winter

(Azzaman) - Kerosene prices have skyrocketed owing to the surge in demand as winter approaches. Iraqis use mainly kerosene for heating and the one million liters a day Iraqi refineries produce hardly meet a fraction of domestic needs. Baghdad alone needs four million liters a day during the three winter months in central Iraq, according to Maeen al-Kadhimi, head of Baghdad provincial council.
He said the Ministry of Oil has no capacity to furnish Baghdad with its needs. He said he feared fuel crisis this winter will be harsher in the years since the U.S. invasion. The country needs at least 15 million liters of kerosene a day to meet the need for heating in winter but Kadhimi said there was no way for the Oil Ministry to make such a huge volume available.
Iraq currently imports most of its fuel needs. The country’s fuel import bill has ballooned to billions of dollars a year. Iraq’s refineries, which prior to the U.S. invasion could meet almost all of the country’s needs for fuel, are operating at much below the capacity. The Oil Ministry has a contract with Iran for the supply of 1.5 million liters of only kerosene every day but Kadhimi said Iran could only deliver half a million liters a day.

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