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Sudan has no strategic reserve of fuel: minister

Drivers queue up in their vans for fuel at a gas station in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on December 21, 2013 (Photo AFP /Ashraf Shazly)

May 2, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A senior official at the Ministry of Oil said Sudan has run out of strategic reserves of fuel due to lack of foreign exchange.

Since April, Sudan suffered an acute countrywide shortage of gasoline and diesel. The shortage comes as the economy continues to suffer from surging inflation and lack of foreign currency.

The State Minister of Oil Saad al-Din Bushra warned the government against failure to provide foreign currency to import petroleum products.

Speaking before the parliament on Wednesday, Bushra said the current fuel crisis would be resolved within 4 to 5 days, pointing however it would return again if the government failed to provide the necessary foreign exchange.

The minister accused unnamed government organs of making wrong interventions that lead to the creation of gasoline black market.

He pointed out that the government has run out of the petroleum strategic reserve, saying if fuel storages were filled fully, it wouldn’t meet the country’s needs for one month.

Bushra added his ministry seeks to import oil through deferred payment method in order to resolve the fuel crisis.

He said Sudan consumes 8800 metric tones of gasoline and 3600 metric tones of benzene, pointing that Khartoum refinery produces only 2650 metric tones which covers 75 percent of the total consumption.

The minister said 122,622 metric tones of petroleum products have been secured for the agricultural purposes, saying the Khartoum refinery is still on the trial run following the recent maintenance work and will resume production within 7 to 10 days.

He pointed out that the maintenance work at Khartoum refinery should have been carried out since 2916 but the government failed to provide $102 million for that purpose.

(ST)