By Saule Tasboulatova
The situation with fuel supply in our region remains tense. In the last three days AI-92 petrol was not available at many gas stations of our city. There was also a shortage of AI-95, so some frustrated drivers were forced to buy AI-98.
Despite this, the reps of the department of energy, housing and communal services of Atyrau Oblast state that the situation with fuel supply in our region is stable. We sent our enquiry to the head of the above department Akylbek Baishakhanov on September 11 and only now received the answer. In his reply he states that “to-date in our region we have enough stocks of fuel and the prices are stable. On September 19, the fuel stocks were as follows: AI-80 - 1 410 tons, AI-92 - 1 872,5 tons, diesel fuel - 2 120,3 tons. The average monthly fuel consumption in the region is as follows: AI-80 - 2 000 tons, AI-92 - 4 000 tons, diesel fuel – 9 000 tons. The energy, housing and communal services department holds the limit prices established by the Ministry of national economy, and also organizes the delivery of fuel volumes. The department is taking all due measures to provide the necessary volumes of fuel.”
It is unclear, why such a laconic reply from the energy department took such a long time. But still some of our questions remained unanswered. In particular, regarding the tripartite Memorandum on fuel volumes quoting – what are the parties of the Memorandum? How fuel is distributed according to this Memorandum? How many traders (or wholesale companies) in Atyrau Oblast trade with Atyrau Refinery and on what terms? And again, what steps does energy department take to cope with petrol crisis in our region?
Previously we wrote in our publications that Memorandum, in actual fact, doesn't work and many petrol stations don't get the volumes allocated by the Ministry of Energy (see “The Fall without Ai-92“; “They will smother until Ai-92 passes over 150 tenge mark”).
On Tuesday, September 23, we visited five Helios petrol stations and everywhere AI-92 was sold for special coupons or wasn't available. They were running out of AI-95 because the daily limit was over. Three KMG petrol stations out of five hadn’t had AI-95, but the situation with AI-92 was better.
We wish that the department of energy, housing and communal services was more cooperative with mass media when it concerns such strategically important issue as providing the region with liquefied gas and fuel.
When the problem occurs, the management of the above department becomes defensive against the press and demands that we should send written inquiries. But we wait long for their answers.