Long lines have been reported at service stations and many pumps are running out despite rationing amid an ongoing fuel shortage as of Wednesday, September 9. The government is reportedly awaiting three fuel tankers on their way from Iran. In the meantime, drivers are being forced to queue for hours and are limited in the amount of fuel they can purchase. The shortages are even affecting Caracas, which is less frequently affected by fuel shortages as other parts of the country.
Fuel shortages are likely to continue over the near term, with the shipment not expected for around a month. Unrest over the situation is possible.
Venezuela holds the world's largest oil reserves yet is unable to refine enough crude to meet its domestic demands. Iran has sent fuel shipments to Venezuela three times this year, but a month ago a shipment was seized by US officials imposing sanctions, which is likely to have exacerbated the fuel situation. The state oil company PDVSA is attempting to restart processing units at its refineries, but this has largely been unsuccessful so far.
Those in Venezuela are advised to monitor the situation, fill up vehicles whenever fuel is available, ensure sufficient fuel reserves before all long journeys, and expect longer waiting times at gas stations.
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