x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Motorists run dry as Sharjah follows Dubai with petrol shortage

Petrol shortages are resolved overnight and motorists on Thursday reported few problems.

SHARJAH // For the second time in just a few weeks some motorists found themselves unable to refuel their vehicles because of a petrol shortage .

Last month, petrol stations in Dubai ran short of fuel because of a "hold-up in logistics operations after tanker lorries failed to arrive to the loading decks on schedule".

On Wednesday it was the turn of motorists in Sharjah to run dry because of "maintenance work".

The problem was resolved early yesterday, as Enoc and Eppco petrol stations were restocked overnight.

The stations in the emirate that were affected - it was unclear how many - resumed supplying petrol between 1am and 3am yesterday.

"Special and Super was restocked after midnight here and by 2am we had already started resupplying it to our customers," said an official at the Enoc petrol station on Al Khan Road. "Some of our customers have not yet been informed that we have resumed supplying, and [yesterday] work was quite slow."

In a statement, an Enoc representative attributed the supply disruption to maintenance work.

"Enoc is managing its fuel supplies to meet the current demand. This involves a two-pronged approach of regulating the distribution of fuel through our network, as well as upgrading selected stations," said the statement. "Enoc is working with concerned authorities to further enhance the supplies. Simultaneously, we are accelerating the upgrade process.

"Selected stations will be upgraded progressively with the result that the operation of some petrol islands could be temporarily suspended."

All Enoc and Eppco petrol stations had fuel yesterday, with the exception of an Eppco station on Al Ittihad Road to Dubai which is undergoing maintenance. "The station had been closed from May 1 and is likely to re-open on June 1 after maintenance," a worker at that station said. "This had nothing to do with yesterday's incident."

Even petrol stations not affected by the shortage saw fewer customers on Wednesday.

Motorists said they were shocked to hear that fuel was unavailable in some places.

"I was turned down by two Eppco stations and could not understand why this could happen in an oil-rich country like the UAE," said Aziz Salam, 34, a Syrian accountant based in Sharjah. "When the first Enoc turned me down at Al Khan Road, I found a big queue at an Adnoc petrol station on the same road and avoided it to go to an Eppco station on Al Ittihad Road, which also turned me away. Finally I refuelled at an Emarat station in the industrial area."

ykakande@thenational.ae