Petrol powerplay continues: ENOC still in talks with authorities and denies ADNOC takeover
ENOC is still in closed doors with authorities for its price-supply dilemma. Meanwhile, the company denies reports of a takeover and demands apology from Gulf News. Precious de Leon reports.
July 5, 2011 3:26 by p.deleon
Out with the green and red and in with the red and blue. Residents in the UAE’s northern emirates may soon be gassing up at ADNOC stations and the empty petrol stations of ENOC/EPPCO may soon be a thing of the past. Or at least that’s what Gulf News reported in an article this Tuesday.
That article was repeatedly attributed in several news agencies, including Reuters.
But then Kipp received an official statement from ENOC that denies reports of the ADNOC takeover of its Northern Emirates stations. Well, it wasn’t so much a complete statement as it was cut-out quotes that the PR agency asked to be attributed only to “A spokesperson of ENOC”.
Here are the quotes from ENOC:
“ENOC categorically denies the report that appeared today in Gulf News about the future course of running the ENOC and EPPCO retail outlets in the northern emirates.
“It is extremely disappointing that the newspaper has seen it fit to publish a report, which is totally baseless, speculative and unverified.
“ENOC reiterates that there has been no expression of interest by any organisation on taking over the operations of the company’s retail outlets.
“The concerned authorities are actively discussing the matter of fuel distribution in the northern emirates.
“Such rumours serve no positive purpose, and the newspaper owes an apology for spreading misinformation.”
So there you have it, straight from ENOC. Apparently talks are still going on, which we assume means that appeals for a raised oil price cap, talks of a better subsidy process and the possibility of an open market are still on the table.
The statement came at a good time, too. Otherwise, Kipp was just going to go on and on about:
- how the ADNOC takeover may allow the Ministry of Finance and Industry to dodge having to make a decision on raising the fuel price ceiling or lifting the price cap all together (a good thing for end users, since lifting the ban could have resulted in paying triple the current gas price to about AED18.50 per gallon);
- that it was a shame that despite ADNOC being ordered to help two weeks ago, days after that order ENOC’s northern emirates service stations still ended up being shut down; but that it was good that ADNOC reportedly now has enough manpower to manage and operate the more than 80 stations that were shut down two weeks ago;
- and that all of this was going on under the UAE’s newly reshuffled Supreme Petroleum Council (cue the Shuffle music) and during the appointment of Abdullah Nasser Al Suwaidi as ADNOC’s director general –by decree of the UAE President no less.
Out of all this hubbub, though, Kipp must admit our favourite part about that now infamous Gulf News article was that delicious side note about the suggested Dh2,000 per month fuel stipend for UAE nationals that “would balance out the potential increase in fuel prices for families.” The suggestion, to Kipp’s relief, was strongly rejected by officials.
In any case, we can imagine Emarat must be breathing a sigh of relief right now as it was just bailed out of its losses last month when it received an increase to its capital, rounding it off to a cool AED9billion.