Vientiane, Laos, is experiencing the problem of the "energy crisis" that bedeviled cities in the more advanced industrial countries several years ago.
VARIOUS SHOTS OF CROWDS QUEUING FOR PETROL AT SERVICE STATIONS IN VIENTIANE.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Vientiane, Laos, is experiencing the problem of the "energy crisis" that bedeviled cities in the more advanced industrial countries several years ago. Petrol rationing has been a factor of life in Laos since the Pathet Lao forces overthrew the former regime.
But recently the situation worsened as rumours raced through Vientiane that the Shell Cil Company, who supplies Laos with most of its petrol, was considering cutting back on imports of fuel.
Thousands of people rushed to petrol stations, brandishing their coupons and stood in queues up to a mile and a half long in an attempt to fill their empty tanks.
A blackmarket also developed dealing in the government issued petrol ration cards. Those who had accumulated a certain number of the much sought after cards sold them to other motorists for several times their worth. So bad was the situation that the camera crew who shot this film had to push their car from petrol station to petrol station before they found one with enough fuel to get them back to their office.