Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Breaking News

Alphabet, Boeing Rise Premarket; Starbucks, Spotify Fall

Angry Venezuelans wait hours for fuel as shortages worsen

WorldMay 17, 2019 08:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Men wait near vehicles queuing up in an attempt to refuel at a gas station of the state oil company PDVSA in Ciudad Guayana

By Deisy Buitrago and Corina Pons

CARACAS/PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Angry drivers queued for hours in towns across Venezuela on Friday as fuel shortages worsened in the South American nation following a plunge in gasoline imports and a stoppage at the nation's second-largest oil refinery.

Shortages of motor fuel have become a periodic occurrence in the OPEC nation, particularly in border regions where smuggling to neighboring countries is rife, the result of generous subsidies from state-run oil company PDVSA that have made gasoline nearly free in Venezuela.

But in recent days lines at gas stations in the western and southern border states of Tachira, Zulia and Bolivar have grown longer than usual, often lasting more than five hours, according to Reuters witnesses.

Unusually, hours-long lines also appeared outside service stations in the central states of Carabobo and Aragua - abutting the capital Caracas - after a regional storage center ran out of fuel, sources said.

"This is an outrage," said Mario Garcia, who had waited unsuccessfully for an hour to fill up his car in Puerto Cabello, a port city some 200 km (125 miles) west of Caracas in Carabobo state. "It cannot be that this is an oil producing country and we are going through this."

Venezuelans are already struggling with hyperinflation and widespread shortages of basic goods amid a painful five-year recession.

Tough U.S. sanctions on the energy sector have slashed crude oil exports and left President Nicolas Maduro's government struggling to import fuel.

Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader after he invoked the constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, saying Maduro rigged last year's elections. Maduro has branded Guaido a puppet of Washington.

PDVSA's imports of fuel and diluents, which are mixed with Venezuela's extra-heavy crude for export, plunged to 86,000 barrels per day (bpd) on average in the first half of May, nearly one-third of their average level in April, according to internal PDVSA documents and Refinitiv Eikon data.

The sources indicated that Venezuela had not imported a gasoline cargo since March 31.

In addition, Venezuela's 310,000 bpd Cardon oil refinery - which had been operating well below capacity - halted operations on Wednesday because of damage at some of its units, two workers at the PDVSA-operated complex said.

That left only two refineries in operation in Venezuela.

Neither PDVSA nor Venezuela's oil ministry immediately responded to requests for comment.

From Puerto Cabello on the Caribbean coast to the eastern industrial city of Puerto Ordaz, on the banks of the Orinoco river, several motorists waiting for fuel said Maduro's government needed to do more to tackle the fuel problems.

"This is chaotic. Every day here is chaotic and now we have a problem with gasoline," said Oswaldo Ruiz, as he sat in a long line of vehicles at a gas station in Puerto Ordaz. "I don't know what will happen here but there has to be a change."

In Caracas, however, there were few signs of widespread gasoline shortages as Maduro has prioritized services to the Venezuela capital. Industry sources said tankers were being diverted from other parts of the country to supply the city of some 6 million people, home to roughly a fifth of Venezuela's population.

"Things are a bit complicated here, but Caracas residents have it better than in other cities," said Franco Arase, as he sat aboard his motorbike.

Angry Venezuelans wait hours for fuel as shortages worsen
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email