(Bloomberg) -- Huge lines have reappeared outside Venezuelan gasoline stations as the oil industry rations fuel in response to technical failures at refineries.
Only two out of the nation’s five refineries are partly operational and supplying fuel to the country, according to three people with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Fuel shortages have been commonplace across swathes of Venezuela over the last five years, as US sanctions crippled an industry already suffering from years of underinvestment.
Drivers have been forced to queue for days to refill their tanks in several provincial cities. Caracas is still relatively well supplied, though there are long lines at subsidized priced pumps.
“I’ve lost a whole day of work just lining up for diesel this week, which is a day of lost income,” said Antonio Garcia, a bus driver, waiting in a queue five blocks long at a subsidized pump in eastern Caracas. “This is very tiresome.”
The government says it expects to restart fuel-making plants at El Palito refinery this weekend. The installation stopped producing high-quality gasoline in 2021.
Gasoline-making plants in Venezuela’s largest refining complex of Paraguana, are halted due to technical problems. One of its units is still producing low grades of fuel. The refinery of Puerto La Cruz, which usually supplies only to eastern Venezuela, is now sending production to the rest of the country to make for the halting of refineries of Amuay and El Palito.
State oil company PDVSA declined to comment.
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