Coral Oil Company stops supplying Lebanon with petrol

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A key oil company in Lebanon said Thursday it would stop supplying its gas stations with fuel amid severe shortages that have brought the crisis-hit country to a halt.

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Coral Oil Company, operating in Lebanon since 1926, said the “unprecedented” halt to its operations comes as its current stocks run dry.

“The Coral Company apologizes to the Lebanese people and to its customers for not being able to provide, for the first since it was established, petroleum to gas stations,” Coral said in a statement.

“When remaining stocks run out of (Coral) gas stations, they will stop servicing people’s needs.”

A vessel carrying additional fuel shipments has been docked in Lebanese waters for more than a week.

But the nearly bankrupt Lebanese state has not completed the steps needed to unload the cargo, added the statement, carried by the official National News Agency.

Lebanon is grappling with an economic crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the planet’s worse since the mid-19th century.

The currency has lost 90 percent of its value on the black market, with more than three-quarters of the population now in poverty.

On top of shortages of medicine, gas and bread, the country has been hard hit by severe fuel shortages leading to massive queues at pumping stations.

Diesel shortages have aggravated power cuts which now last up to 22 hours a day, forcing shut businesses, government offices and even hospitals.

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