Friday, November 03, 2006

A new rip off

I like to buy the weekly tabloids because, every once in a while, they have something REALLY worth reading. This week’s Shihan has a story about how tankers bringing petroleum to Aqaba are unloading sea water instead of oil at the dock. Unfortunately, the story is not on line.

Apparently, the tankers sell off some of the oil in the open waters, and replace the oil with water. Trucks that transport the oil to the refinery in Zarqa are loaded, without allowing the drivers to inspect what is being pumped into their tanks. When they arrive at the refinery, some or most of the cargo turns out to be sea water. Officials at the refinery accuse the drivers of selling the oil and replacing it with water.

So, Shihan’s reporter went along with one of the tankers from the loading dock in Aqaba to the refinery. Sure enough, part of the cargo was sea water. Drivers and the refinery estimate that about 20% of the oil being shipped is actually sea water.

Jordan imports about 100,000 barrels of oil today. Assuming that all of it is currently coming through Aqaba, this amounts to 7.3 million barrels per year that are missing and we are paying for. Assuming that each barrel costs US $60, then the total rip off is a cool 438 million dollars.

Good investigative reporting. I am waiting to see if Al Rai will catch the story.

Ha Ha!


At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't they have inspection at the Aqaba docks?!

Or does this story suggest that people in Aqaba are in on it too and not just the tankers at sea.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

The people in Aqaba are in on it, because they don't allow the drivers to inspect the cargo as it is loaded.

The minister of energy refused to comment on the information. I forgot to mention this.

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not really an expert on this, but it's known that Seawater is used to help ballast the tanks while offloading the crude oil. (And helps in the pumping) which causes so many environmental problems.
For the untrained eyes it does appear to be as if they're smuggling some seawater with the crude oil. But It might just be a side effect of the whole process it self.
I doubt that the drivers have access to the contents of the tankers, I think they get sealed and opened only at the refinery.
In any case, there is really no way to tell but people's honesty. Which is always debatable.

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why AL Rai? what not prime minster adnan, dont we have a carnaval called (wezaret elshgaal) and the whole carnaval over 5 million. here we talking about 432 million. gal coubonat gal :)

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Qwaider: You might be right, although an official explination, rather than the minister avoiding calls, would be a more credible way to deal with this question.

Zaid: Actually, Wazaret el taqa wil tharwa il ma'adaniah is responsible. Anyway, I will read Shihan next week to see if there is any follow up.

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actualy i was refering to the 6beeshat saga khalaf :)


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