In Pictures: Running on fumes in Kurdish Iraq - Al Jazeera English

In Pictures: Running on fumes in Kurdish Iraq

As political instability persists across Iraq, Kurds face a crippling fuel shortage and long lines at the pumps.

Sean Power | | Business & Economy, Iraq, Middle East, Oil

Sulaymaniyah, Iraq - Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government recently received close to $100m for its first oil delivery to Turkey, to be put in the international market.

In a strange paradox, however, the Kurdish region of Iraq faces a fuel shortage. Many of Iraq's oil refineries have fallen in enemy hands due to the recent crisis in the country, with Sunni fighters taking over vast swathes of territory and taking the refineries offline.

This has left the region running on fumes. Even though the Kurdish region has up to 45 billion barrels of oil under its soil, it currently doesn't have the refineries available to transform the crude material into fuel.

The regional government has now prohibited sales of more than 30 litres of petrol at a time, and number plates ending with even numbers and those with odd numbers having to alternate days they can refuel.

Huge lines outside petrol stations are a common sight, with people waiting for hours in the fierce heat. Some express dissapointment when the stations they wait at run dry before they get a chance to refuel.

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