The long wait for petrol in Maracay

CCTV News

The long wait for petrol in Maracay

A new shortage is being reported in Venezuela: gasoline. The country, which is in the midst of a steep recession, has the world’s largest oil reserves, and the world’s cheapest fuel.

It is believed local refinery problems are behind the problem. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from the city of Maracay.

The long wait for petrol in Maracay

The long wait for petrol in Maracay

A new shortage is being reported in Venezuela: gasoline. The country, which is in the midst of a steep recession, has the world's largest oil reserves, and the world's cheapest fuel. It is believed local refinery problems are behind the problem. CCTV America's Stephen Gibbs reports from the city of Maracay.

It is not the Friday evening rush hour in Maracay and with the long, tedious wait for gasoline. At the end of the line: one of the few stations in the city currently selling fuel.

Across the city we found most gas stations closed. Workers told us supplies here started becoming intermittent last week.

Neither the government nor the state oil producer PDVSA has given an official explanation for the shortage. But it seems problems at local refineries including the supply of imported additives and lie behind this.

For the last two years, Venezuelans have become used to shortages of most things, except gasoline. Being told that fuel is also short supply really hurts.

This after all is the country sitting on the world’s largest proven oil reserves and a population used to abundant and nearly free gasoline.

Bus driver Carlos says he’s low on both fuel, and patience.

“I feel powerless. It’s like going backwards instead of forwards. Things keep getting worse, there isn’t any progress. It’s a big step back for the country really,” he said.

This is a country where the problems do appear to be mounting by the day. As its entire economy is running on close to empty.