An SMS from the Sharjah government-owned channel, said the decision followed the expiry of a 72-hour deadline set by the Sharjah Executive Council on Tuesday, asking the retailer to resume normal operations at its pumps or close shop.
“A lack of response from Enoc to adhere to the deadline has forced the closure of all Enoc pumps in Sharjah,” the message said.
Enoc and Eppco petrol stations across the emirate wore a deserted look on Friday, with both attendants and motorists missing. Vehicles were seen snaking into Sharjah’s Emarat stations to slake their thirst for fuel.
Despite repeated attempts, Enoc officials were unavailable for comment. Sharjah Economic Development Department officials also declined to speak on the issue.
Wam had reported last week that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) had stepped in to supply fuel to the emirate on the orders of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Earlier on June 7, the council demanded a speedy end to the fuel woes in the emirate and asked Enoc to explain the cause in 48 hours, but the deadline went unheeded.
Enoc had earlier said the disruption was due to ongoing maintenance, which had closed 82 petrol stations in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. “This involves a two-pronged approach of regulating the distribution of fuel through our network, as well as upgrading selected stations,” an Enoc spokesperson said.
“ENOC is working with concerned authorities to further enhance the supplies. Simultaneously, we are accelerating the upgrade process. Selected stations will be upgraded progressively with the result that the operation of some petrol islands would be temporarily suspended,” added the spokesperson.
Emarat pumps in Dubai also ran dry fuelled by excess demand from motorists filling up their tanks before heading into Sharjah and other emirates in the north of the country.
The UAE is the world’s third largest oil exporter with an estimated 2.5 million barrels pumped every day. Petrol consumption is estimated to be around five million litres per day.
But a growing population and lack of sufficient refining capacity has forced it to import nearly one million tonnes a year.
Fuel is heavily subsidised and retailers import their needs from the international market where oil hit a high of $127 a barrel earlier this year. It now hovers at around $110 a barrel.