No fuel in Nairobi

February 2, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Most petrol stations in the Central Business District are experiencing the sharp bite of a fuel shortage.

A spot check by Capital News on Monday revealed that some stations have had a shortage since last week, inconveniencing several motorists.

“I started from Shell BP and found that there was no fuel. I went to the other one Total and there was no fuel,” one motorist said.

“There is no fuel, I needed fuel and they are saying that there is no fuel. If you go to many petrol stations like Kobil, Agip, blah blah blah… They are saying that there is no fuel,” another motorist stated emphatically.

However, some vehicle owners said that they had not been affected by the shortage.

“I just filled up and there was no problem, all the petrol stations in Kiambu are full,” said a motorist.

An attendant interviewed at the Kenol Petrol station in town attributed the lack of fuel to transportation discrepancies.

“Effect of Triton, other things, yesterday (Sunday) was a weekend so the transporters were not working,” he said, and added that the situation would quickly normalise. “We expect that maybe tomorrow (Tuesday), things will be okay.”

There was a fuel shortage one month ago due to repair work by the Kenyan Pipeline Company.

This followed an alert by oil industries last month about an impending oil shortage.

According to the alert, the anticipated shortage would be adversely felt unless the storage space allocation problem at the Kipevu Oil Storage Facility (KOSF) is urgently addressed.

The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) on the other hand had confirmed that the shortage would be of premium petrol.
Other players had blamed the newly upgraded Mombasa-Nairobi oil pipeline for the limited supply of products.

The average flow rate between January 2 and 21 was 489 cubic metres per hour.

On January 2nd the pumping rate was 413.79M³ while on January 21 it was 446.7M³ per hour.
 
Petroleum Institute of East Africa Chairman Engineer Patrick Obath reckoned that the country should be operating at a capacity 640 cubic metres per hour.

In 2008, KPC carried out a capacity enhancement project, which saw the pipeline’s flow rate doubled to 880 cubic metres.

The ongoing oil scandals and the subsequent investigations into the oil scam have resulted in a negative credit rating for the local industry, which means that their financiers are reluctant to fund them.

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