By Seraj Essul and Mohammed Najah.
Tripoli, 5 July 2013:
Panic-buying of fuel in Tripoli, sparked by strikes at a local refinery, has . . .[restrict]stopped after the Ministry of Oil and Gas insisted that petrol supplies were unaffected.
The Ministry said that the refineries were working at full capacity and supply operations were running as normal.
In a joint statement, the Ministry and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that people should not listen to rumours about reduced fuel supplies. They added that the queues in front of petrol stations were unnecessary.
Yesterday, traffic in the capital was worse than usual, as motorists queued to fill their tanks, fearing fuel shortages.
The manager of one petrol station, Mansor Ghaith, said: “Until mid-morning, business was normal but then, within an hour, queues began building.” Some motorists were topping up their tanks with just one or two dinars-worth of fuel.
Ghaith said that a strike at Zawia refinery had prompted rumours of fuel shortages and that this had happened several times before. “But we have enough petrol,” he said. [/restrict]