Selling Fuel in Baghdad - 08.25.2008

VIDEO - Baghdad, Iraq - The gas and the fuel for cars has always been a problem for Iraqis inside Iraq, the irony that Iraq has one of the worlds largest reservoirs of oil is not lost on Iraqis.

The problem started in the year 2003 after the invasion, when the majority of oil refineries stopped due to the lake of equipment and spare parts. Iraq was left having to import its cars, fuel, and oil products from Jordan. These shipments were frequently left often open to attacks from insurgents which slowed things down even further.

Most Iraqis need fuel not only for their cars but also for their home generators that provide them with electricity. This dual consumption helped create the Fuel shortage all over Iraq. The Iraqi government was left standing by watching, only able to make false promises of fixing it.

The price for fuel multiplied 500 times after the war began. The price of one gallon of benzene can range from $70 to $150, the financial burden of this is almost unimaginable for the average Iraqi. But the cost of fuel, and the waiting periods between availability are not the only problem. Many attacks have hit gas stations in Iraq.

The Iraqi National Guards organize the lines in the gas stations, doing their best to control the process of gas distribution. But the ING are a popular target by many militias. The biggest attack the INGs faced was the one that targeted the Abu Ja’afar Al-Masnor gas station. 17 Iraqis were killed, 6 ING’s were burned to death, with 70 were injured.

Some oil refineries returned to work after things started to calm down in 2007, but they’re only the first steps of recovery. Some days no one will be in the gas line, the next day 200 cars will be waiting.


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