Causes of Cooking Gas (LPG) Shortage in Saudi Arabia

For the past one week, the residents of Jeddah have been reporting the lapse in their supply of cooking gas. The social media websites are filled with posts and tweets about the shortage of gas. The people of Jeddah are afraid that the gas supply will be terminated indefinitely. There are multiple sources and their reports in this accord. We have done a little bit of research over it and brought some facts about the reasons and causes behind cooking gas crisis in Saudi Arabia. Frankly speaking, I am also a victim of cooking gas crisis in Saudi Arabia since I have an empty cylinder to fill from many days. My wife is happy with this situation as she does not have to prepare food at home.[irp]

According to one source, the National Gas Company is attempting to cut off the excess baggage from the company and they have fired several their employees to achieve this. According to them, multiple people had been appointed for tasks that could be handled by one person alone. According to the reporting source, this cut off of the employees is responsible for the delays in supply and delivery of the cooking gas to the residents of Jeddah. Another reason for the shortage of the cooking gas is that the delivery trucks have to wait for a long time at the distribution points. The reason might be the shortage of the distribution personnel at the points.

According to the reporting person, the organizational personnel change is the main reason for the gas crisis. Some working nationals were fired and some left of their own accord adding up to a total of 30 lay off employees at Jeddah branch alone and some of them were the managers which are the main cause of the chaos and confusion. To remedy this situation, there were no short-term plans in the company. The company did not have any Plan B in case of such staffing problems which, according to the source is the main cause of the gas crisis in the Kingdom.

Another important and obvious reason for the gas crisis is the shortage of gas cylinders and production decline of LPG, which is cooking gas. The shortage of the cylinders and underproduction of the gas may have led to the depreciation at the filling stations. According to an owner of a distribution shop the points are lacking in the staff to carry out the distribution, the problem is not the under production of the gas, it is the inefficient distribution to the stores in the neighborhood by the authorized distributors.[irp]

According to another source, the National Gas Company has explained that its branch in Yanbu is under maintenance and has subcontracted Saudi Aramco to supply it with gas tanks which have been delayed due to the heavy fog in the last week. The company has also extended its working hours to manage the gas crisis and has also dispatched 50,000 cooking cylinders over the past five weeks in 91 trucks. To ensure the proper distribution, the National Gas Company has also accompanied the inspection officers along with the trucks. According to the company, the distributors in the city are flaming the panic by increasing the gas prices and spreading the rumors that gas is now a rare commodity and Jeddah is under gas crisis. The company is cooperating with Ministry of Commerce and Industry to manage these rumors and stop the distributors from exploiting the customers.

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