By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 7 December 2013:
Major queues outside petrol stations in the capital continued today, despite official assurances that there was . . .[restrict]plenty of fuel to go around.
Tempers flared among motorists, some of whom had been waiting for over five hours for their turn at the pumps. It is reported that a number of privately-owned garages simply shut down rather than face threats.
The panic-buying continued despite assurances from the National Oil Corporation (NOC) that there were substantial quantities of petrol and diesel available.
NOC spokesman, Mohamed Al-Hrari, told the Libya Herald that there was enough fuel for the local market for weeks. All the state-owned Oil Libya filling stations were open and serving customers.
He added that the Zawia refinery was working normally and that tankers trucking fuel to fuel stations were working smoothly. The only problem was that, because of the press of motorists in and around filling stations, the tankers were having difficulty actually getting into them, to unload.
There were also reports of profiteering. One driver told this newspaper that for a seven-litre container of petrol he had paid LD 30, ten times the normal price.