Ministry of Mines to oversee oil distribution


A draft regulation would establish a director level department at the Ministry of Mines to solely control and supervise the distribution and illegal trade of petroleum.
If the draft regulation is approved by the Council of Ministers a truck that unloads benzene or kerosene at the wrong destination will be automatically confiscated and the petroleum in the truck will be sold and the money will be taken by the government.
A source at the trade office told Capital that the regulation will help fight petroleum contraband which is currently widespread in the country.
“The main problem is there is not a serious department in the trade bureau solely responsible for supervising petroleum. The idea is allow each region and administration to have a department that works on this. They will easily be able to identify the specific trucks assigned to the specific depot.”
However, some fear the new regulation may violate the rights of oil companies.
“We understand the government’s concern but what if a gas station has not paid its last debt of gas, then we will be in difficult situation unloading another tank of gas for it. This will not allow us to have them unload the gas at another station.”
The oil companies are regulated by the three institutions directly and by many other government bodies indirectly, and which many industry insiders agree to be the main reason for many problems that have been occurring for a long time.
Oil companies agree that there is no efficient service in the Djibouti depot where about four days will be consumed for one vehicle to load the oil. Ethiopia uses Sudan and Djibouti depots to distribute its four types of oil but the Sudanese one takes a very small amount.
National Oil Company (NOC), Yetebaberut Petroleum, Total, and Oil Libya take the highest share of oil distribution in Ethiopia.