Mechanical fault in oil line causes fear of gas shortage in Baghdad

Staff Sgt. Brock Jones
Multi-national Division – Baghdad Public Affairs Office
BAGHDAD – A mechanical fault in the Mahmudiya-Doura oil pipeline halted production of oil and caused temporary fear of a gasoline shortage in Baghdad June 29.
The problem with the line was quickly addressed and fixed, according to the ministry of oil and the Multi-National Forces – Iraq Energy Fusion Cell.
“The pause in the oil flow between Mahmudiya and Doura caused a temporary hiccup in the gas supply. The issue has been quickly rectified,” said Maj. Jeffrey Farris, chief of operations with division civil affairs, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.
Upon hearing oil production had halted, concerned residents of the East and West Rashid, Tarmiya, Ghazaliya and Istiqual neighborhoods of Baghdad lined up at state and individually owned gas stations to purchase gasoline for automobiles and generators in fear of a pending shortage.
To counter the people’s fear, the government of Iraq decided to transport gas by truck from the Mahmudiya facility to gas stations in Baghdad until the Doura facility was able to begin anew its refinement operations.
When the trucks showed up with gas from Mahmudiya, in many cases the operators of the gas stations had locked their doors and left, either because of electricity shortages or because the station’s tanks were empty and the operators didn’t know when they would get another shipment of gas. This caused further fear as the gas was unable to quickly get to the consumer in many cases.
Efforts will continue to get gas to the people and to repair the mechanical problem. The Ministry of Oil predicted the potential gasoline shortage would right itself within 48 to 72 hours.
“The ministry of oil and the Iraqis on ground realized there was a problem and they attempted to come up with a solution,” said Capt. Charles Witt, C-7 reconstruction action officer serving with Multi-National Corps – Iraq.
“Things like oil production and electricity are huge things to these people. When there’s a problem, they want to know why,” he said. “The ministry of oil and the Energy Fusion Cell reacted quickly to find solutions to the various problems and showed they really do care for the people of Baghdad.”