Many petrol stations under the petroleum system of COMECO said that they had run out of gasoline from 6 a.m. on October 6, and there are only oil products left.
A COMECO petrol station in Dinh Bo Linh Street in Binh Thanh Street runs out of gasoline. (Photo: SGGP)
From 6 a.m. this morning, many petrol stations under the COMECO petroleum system have run out of gasoline to sell to customers. Specifically, at three petrol stations on Phan Huy Ich and Quang Trung streets in Go Vap District, petrol station staff signaled from afar to customers that there was no gasoline left.
"Our station usually imports over 10,000 liters of gasoline, but we only imported more than 2,000 liters last evening because the supplier informed us that it ran out of stock. Therefore, gasoline was already sold out at nearly 6 a.m.," said Pham Duc Trong, an employee of a petrol station.
Similarly, it was recorded at 11 a.m. this afternoon that none of COMECO's gas stations in districts throughout Ho Chi Minh City, such as Districts 5, 11, Binh Thanh, Tan Binh, and Thu Duc City, had any gas left.
Besides the Comeco system, which ran out of gas, some gas stations put up signs saying that they will stop selling gasoline for repair for less than a month.
Meanwhile, the petroleum systems of Petrolimex, Saigon Petro, or MIPEC still sell gasoline normally. According to private petrol stations, the volume of petrol and oil is only enough for one or two days because the fuel wholesalers have announced that there is no stock.
“Besides the scarce supply, the price of one liter of gasoline that petrol station imported is negative VND800, not including the costs for the station to maintain operations, so several petrol stations will have to shut down in the next few days if this situation does not improve," Mr. N.V.T, owner of petrol stations in Binh Trieu Area, forecasted.
A petrol station in Phan Van Tri Street in Go Vap District halts operations for repair. (Photo: SGGP)
Before that, on October 5, Can Gio Trading and Service Joint Stock Company sent a document to the Department of Industry and Trade and the Department of Market Surveillance of HCMC to announce that it would suspend gasoline sales shortly. Accordingly, this company explained that as a distributor, it was granted a license under the number 345-TNPP/QD-BCT issued on September 22, 2020, so it cannot import gasoline. Instead, it must buy gasoline to supply its retail system via fuel importers. Recently, the domestic and global fuel markets have been developing complicatedly, leading to supply disruptions, so fuel wholesales have stopped supplying goods to retailers. Therefore, the company no longer has a source of goods to maintain the retail system, so it may temporarily cease operations soon. This system currently has 17 affiliated petrol stations and 36 agents. According to experts' explanation, the current basis for calculating the price of imported gasoline is outdated, making enterprises suffer more losses if they import more gasoline. Besides, the banks have tightened lending, so enterprises do not have enough capital to open L/C to import petroleum products. As a result, it leads to a situation of scarce supply over the past time, and, up to now, there is a gasoline system that no longer has goods available for sale.
People wait to refill at a petrol station of MIPEC. (Photo: SGGP)
Meanwhile, at present, domestic gasoline supply only meets nearly 80 percent of market demand, not to mention that the maintenance and repair of petroleum refineries have happened frequently, causing a serious shortage of gasoline supply. The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade said that it has been coordinating with relevant agencies to find out and verify stores that run out of gasoline but have not made notifications. If there are violations, they will be strictly handled according to regulations. However, if fuel enterprises run out of petrol and oil for sale, it is not under the Department of Industry and Trade jurisdiction. According to Decrees No.83 and No.95 on petrol and oil trading, petrol stations that want to stop operations must notify the Department of Industry and Trade in writing the time of cessation of sales and the reason for stopping sales. At the same time, enterprises are only allowed to stop selling petroleum products after receiving written approval from the Department of Industry and Trade. Currently, out of 550 petrol and oil retail stations in HCMC, only 5-6 stations have requested to be temporarily suspended during the time of repairing, rinsing oil tanks, and checking the fire prevention system over the past time. There has been no case of requesting to cease operations. For these cases, the Department of Industry and Trade has verified, checked the repair categories, and reviewed the halting time under 30 days as prescribed. In some cases, they are only allowed to halt for 15-20 days.