The Kurdish Globe
By Salih Waladbagi
Bad quality petrol causes many mechanical problems in cars in Kurdistan. Many drivers blame Kurdistan Regional Government's relevant parties for not taking action and fine violators.
Petrol is now an important concern for drivers not only because of its high price but also because of its bad quality and the possible damages they predictf for their cars from low-quality petrols.
Kareem Mohammed who is a taxi driver and almost works more than 10 hours on streets daily said I have just back from industrial zone and repaired my car's engine.
He remarked that he paid more than $200 during the past months to repair his car.
There are several kinds of petrol in Kurdistan which part of it comes from local refineries and some from Iraqi refineries comes to Kurdistan as national share from oil.
Also traders import petrol from neighboring countries and several other countries. The petrol comes from other countries are called super-petrol and their prices are higher than local produced one.
Beji oil is a petrol type which is produced in refineries in middle of Iraq and its, price is kind of cheaper compared with the rest. Many drivers use it because of its cheaper price. But part of drivers claim that its, quality is not that good and makes mechanical problems for their cars.
Kamal Ali, another taxi driver, said bad-quality-petrol also has made problem for his car.
"I cannot afford high-price petrol because my monthly salary is not that high so that I prefer to buy low-quality petrol even I know it might causes error in my car," he said.
Part of the petrol comes to Kurdistan through neighboring countries has not been checked because there are not efficient equipments to check the quality. This has been considered as a reason to bring bad quality petrlo to Kurdistan.
Mariwan Nadhim, a driver, said government does not observe petrol stations in Kurdistan that's why traders play with its quality very easily without having fear from government.
Parts of petrol stations are owned by political parties, officials that bring petrol from neighboring countries and other parts of Iraq. According to some public petrol station directors sometimes they receive petrol which is mixed with water.
A petrol station director in Erbil said sometimes government sends us petrol with low-quality and sometimes it is good by chance. He remarked that this caused people get angry from government and private petrol stations.
High-quality petrol causes car engines operates for long time without problem and also reduces bad effects on environment.
Yousif Majid is a mechanic and works at Northern Industrial Zone in Erbil. He said we have been received many cars with engine problems.
'Most of the problems were because of low-quality petrol," he said.
Petrol stations are now becomes a daily necessary for people because number of cars has been increased very rapidly and government has not any plan to restrict number of cars.
Relevant officials also agree that the received petrol is not good but at the same time they refuses people's claim that the petrol is that low-quality they say.
Jamal Ali, who spoke anonymously, is a petrol station director said public petrol stations usually receive petrol from Beji refinery.
He added that private ones sometimes mix the petrol with water and it is a reason for bad quality.
Number of petrol stations in Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah is almost close to Iraq's capital city of Baghdad. Some 170 petrol stations are now operating in Sulaimaniyah and 190 are operating in Baghdad. Around eight million liters of petrol burns in Iraq during winters in daily basis and more than 10 million liters burns in summer, according to statistics that have conducted in Iraq.
Most of petrol stations are private in Kurdistan. Government gives them petrol in order to sell it with coupon and cheaper.
The petrol stations should pay usually 500 IDQ to government per liter. However, drivers should pay around 750 IQD for one liter.