August 12, 2008

Armenia Faces Fuel Shortage Due to South Ossetia Crisis

Text of report by private Armenian news agency Mediamax

Yerevan, 12 August: Many petrol stations in Yerevan have stopped selling petrol due to lack of fuel.

Some petrol stations in Yerevan were closed today, and many petrol stations in Yerevan sold no more than 10 litres of petrol to each customer in the evening of 11 August.

The marketing director of the Flash [fuel imports and sales company], Mushegh Yelchyan, said in an interview with Mediamax news agency, that trains with petrol bound for Armenia had been delayed for a long time on Georgia's territory, as the Georgian side was afraid that the explosive freight could be bombed.

He said that the fuel currently arrived in Armenia with great difficulties, and deficit had emerged as a result.

"We have managed to import 500 t of petrol today, and another 3,000 t remain in Georgia at present, and its delivery is being delayed for the time being," Yelchyan said.

Commenting on the reasons for the sale of restricted quantities of fuel by petrol stations, Yelchyan told Mediamax that "in this way importers try to avoid reselling at overcharged prices". He said that the petrol stations of the Flash company were currently filling tanks of vehicles in full, but did not sell petrol in cans.

Yelchyan said that the company had sold 2.5 times more petrol than usual yesterday [11 August]. At the same time he said that no increase in the petrol price was expected in Armenia. "On the contrary, after the situation is settled a decrease in the petrol prices is possible due to the decrease in oil prices in global markets," Yelchyan said.

The press service of another petrol importer into Armenia, the Mika corporation, also said that freights with fuel have been delayed for a long time in Georgia.

About half of all cars in Armenia use natural gas as fuel. In particular, almost all taxies and vans, as well as many private cars work on natural gas. The press service of the ArmRosGazprom company said that the volumes of gas deliveries to the gas filling stations have not been reduced.

Originally published by Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in Russian 0623 12 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Central Asia. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.