INTRODUCTION: Oil has again begun to flow in Lebanon ending a fuel shortage which had almost reached crisis proportions.
ZAHRANI, NR SIDON, LEBANON
GV PAN Refinery oil tanks and ZOOM INTO refinery plant. 0.14
SV TILT DOWN Oil tanker driving into depot. 0.22
GV PAN Tankers being filled up at refinery. 0.54
SCU & SV Man checks levels of petrol in tanker. 1.10
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Tankers leaving refinery. 1.33
GV Tankers on road and damaged petrol station. 1.42
GV Tankers delivering petrol at garage. (2 SHOTS) 2.02
Background: INTRODUCTION: Oil has again begun to flow in Lebanon ending a fuel shortage which had almost reached crisis proportions. Because of the shortage, petrol prices in Lebanon had rocketed, and nationwide rationing of electricity had been introduced, adding to the host of economic and social problems created earlier by the virtual war between Palestinian guerrillas in the country and Israel.
SYNOPSIS: This is Lebanon's second largest oil refinery, seethed at Zahrani, near Sidon. During the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian guerrillas in Lebanon it received several direct bomb blasts, and production was brought to a halt. But this week production was partially restored, and tanker drivers were soon lining up to get their rations.
The refinery, fed with Saudi Arabian crude oil through the trans-Arabia pipeline, normally meets about 40 per cent of Lebanon's petrol needs. Without it supplies almost dried up, and several people were shot dead after arguments over petrol rations. The black market price for petrol rose to about $U.S. 4.00, about four times the normal price. The petrol shortage also effected the supply of electricity, which is produced by diesel-powered generators.
A few days before the refinery was back in action the Lebanese electricity authority applied nationwide power rationing, and many parts of the country had experienced cuts to water supplies pumped by diesel-powered engines.
The situation has eased now that essential repairs have been made at the Zahrani refinery, but the plant will not be back to full production before September.
Meanwhile, with the fragile American-sponsored ceasefire holding on the Lebanon-Israeli border, the Lebanese government is attempting to restore order. Serious difficulties have resulted from the Israeli air strikes. Many roads, bridges and power stations have been damaged or destroyed in the south, disrupting communications with the capital, Beirut. And after six years of civil war, Prime Minister Chafik Wazzan, has embarked on new moves aimed at achieving detente between the country's warring factions.
Source: REUTERS - TEWFIC GHAZZAWI