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Traders ignite cooking gas crisis in Libya

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LIBYAPROSPCT – London

The cooking gas cylinders’ crisis, commonly known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has escalated in Tripoli. Cylinders are no longer sold at gas distribution centers, and the price of replacing a single cylinder is almost 30 Dinars, that’s 15 times higher than the official two-dinar price at Brega Oil Marketing Company.

According to a report, written for Al-Araby Al-Jadid website by Ahmed AL-Khumaisy, and translated on here by LIBYAPROSPCT for its readers; the official spokesman for Brega Oil Marketing Company, Fathi Al-Hashmi, stated that the cooking gas shortage is mainly due to dealers who took advantage of the situation in Tripoli and colluded with gas distributors who sell to them instead of the consumer, which caused the increase in prices.

Al-Hashmi cleared that Brega has formed a committee to oversee distribution centers, and any person who is proved to be guilty of black-market dealings will have his trader’s license revoked. He also denied any shortages or deficiencies, and that appropriate quantity have been provided for the month “Ramadan,” however, the black-market has denied consumers that of which has been appropriated for them.

Al-Hashmi also confirmed that the main warehouses in Tripoli are continuing to distribute cylinders, “Al-Hani” warehouse distributes around 27000 cylinders a day, in addition to “Brega” store, which distributes 22000 cylinders a day, expressing that the company stopped selling larger cylinders due to financial reasons.

Al-Araby Al-Jadid website report states that Libya is suffering from a severe economic crisis due a decline in revenue, resulting from a decrease in oil prices and the decline of domestic production to less than 300000 barrels a day, as opposed to 1.5 million barrels in 2011.

Furthermore, civilians have told Al-Araby Al-Jadid website that cooking gas is being sold on pavements by dealers walking around Tripoli. Local councils maintained the importance of providing identification and the National Number to obtain a license to distribute gas cylinders, with an exception to those who have obtained a license a couple of years ago.

Berga Company has not issued any licenses for the past two and a half years. Al-Araby Al-Jadid’s reporter also noted that air conditioning gas has doubled from 50 to 100 Dinars. Cars and refrigerator gas prices have also increased.

Libya spends around 114 million a year on supporting local gas production and consumes around 227.803 metric ton every month based on Brega statistics.

Brega Oil Marketing Company was formed in 1971 by the coalition of three oil marketing, and distributing companies in Libya (Al-Brega, Al-Sidra, and Al-Wataniya) owned entirely by the National Oil Corporation (NOC), assigned the task of marketing, distribution and transportation of oil products in Libya.

Living conditions in Libya have not seen any improvements; despite nearly three months since the formation of the Government of National Accord (GNA) that led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, due to the worsening security problem and the lack of an allocated budget, as well as the delayed recognition of the GNA by the House of Representatives (HoR), all of which have led to the inability of the GNA to cope with the economic crisis.