x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Sharjah faces fuel shortages again

Adnoc stations run out of petrol in the emirate creating long lines of drivers desperate to pump up their cars.

Long lines form outside the Adnoc station near King Faisal Road in Sharjah as petrol stations in the emirate face shortages. Pawan Singh / The National
Long lines form outside the Adnoc station near King Faisal Road in Sharjah as petrol stations in the emirate face shortages. Pawan Singh / The National

SHARJAH // Pumps ran dry at a number of Adnoc petrol stations in Sharjah city yesterday as the emirate was once again hit by fuel shortages.

Stations on the busy King Faisal Road and in the Yarmook and Al Khan neighbourhoods were putting up signs from midday warning desperate motorists they had ran out of fuel.

Many people spent hours driving from station to station in a bid to fill their cars, only to be met with the same problem.

Ihsan Mohammed Kamal said he was shocked several stations he visited were all putting up the same “ULG 95 Special is not available” signs.

“I cannot put any other type of fuel in my car,” he said.

Mr Kamal was forced to join long queues at an Emarat station on Al Arouba street in the hope of being able to fill up with enough fuel to get to work and back the next day.

Once news started to filter through that a few Adnoc and Emarat stations in outlying industrial areas and on Airport Road were still supplying fuel, many drivers left the line only to find themselves joining even longer queues there.

“From Sunday we did not have supplies but the company officials have promised that  by the next day a supply tanker would be arriving here,” an Adnoc staff member at a station in Al Khan area said on Sunday evening. However, by yesterday, supplies had still not arrived.

Pump attendants’ pleas for motorists to fill up with different types of petrol other than Special were met with angry shouts.

“It’s all the same and will not affect your car,” urged one attendant. He added the station was also running short of E-plus fuel, with only one pump working by midday.

The Adnoc station on Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Road in Maysaloon was an exception and still had petrol yesterday.

Most affected were the emirate’s taxi drivers who are authorised to only fill up their cabs at Adnoc stations. “For some time now I have been refilling E-plus instead of Special and I am worried that if E-plus also goes out we shall have no option,” said Mohammed Mahir, a taxi driver from Pakistan.

Sharjah’s fuel problems date back to 2011 when the Enoc group, which owns the Enoc and Eppco stations, stopped supplying petrol to the Northern Emirates. The Sharjah government issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Enoc to resume refuelling or close down all its stations. This ultimatum was not met and the pumps were closed.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, intervened and ordered Adnoc to take action.

The company has since increased its supply of fuel to the Northern Emirates and is building more petrol stations.

There were suggestions that Adnoc would take over the old Eppco and Enoc stations, but officials from the Enoc group denied this.

Last year, in an effort to solve the problem, Adnoc opened three new stations in the emirate – in Yarmook, Samnan and on Maleha Road. The company also announced it was planning to build a fuel import terminal in Hamriyah port within two years to supply the Northern Emirates.

Adnoc could not be reached for  comment yesterday.