As demand for petrol in central and southern Iraq rises to cope with power shortages, the amount of fuel allocated to Kurdistan from Baghdad has been reduced by almost 65%, according to AKnews.
Erbil’s fuel distribution director, Nuraddin Hamed, told the agency that while Erbil used to receive 1,600 million liters of petrol from the central Beiji [Baiji, Bayji] refinery, it now only receives 600 million.
The Beiji refinery in Baghdad province provides petrol to Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniya provinces in the Kurdistan region as well as the Iraqi provinces of Diyala, Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salahaddin and Anbar.
Rising summer temperatures and frequent power cuts across the Iraqi provinces are making more and more households dependent on petrol-driven generator units to power their air-conditioning systems.
Hamed said that the fuel shortage has compelled officials to reinstate a coupon system in the region’s petrol stations whereby taxis and private vehicles will be permitted between 35 and 40 liters every three days.
Iraq’s deputy oil minister, Mu’tasam Akram, told AKnews that Iraq currently needs 45 million liters of petrol but is only capable of providing 25 million liters.
Akram also attributed the fuel shortage in the north of the country to the tourists who arrive there en-masse from the other Iraqi provinces and abroad to drive around the scenic mountainous region.
In just one week, the price of petrol in Kurdistan jumped from 650 Iraqi Dinars (about 50 cents) per liter to 1,000 IQD.