3 Jan 2007

Ebeye on Marshall Islands facing domestic fuel crisis

10:51 am on 3 January 2007

There's concern in the Marshall Islands that Ebeye could run out of gas and kerosene before next week after Mobil Oil Micronesia pulled it's service from there and Jaluit on Monday.

Mobil has supplied both islands with three fuels including diesel for more than 15 years, but earlier this year lost their contract with the Marshall Islands Energy Company worth 30-million US dollars.

There was also concern that Ebeye the second most populous urban centre may have run out of diesel for its power plant by next week but MEC project manager Steve Wakefield says a barge will head up the two islands by this week.

However, Mr Wakefield says diesel is not the immediate problem at the moment.

"One of the big problems they have up in Ebeye is that they using gasoline for boats to get to work on the military base at Kwajalein, and the other problem we have is that a lot of the people still use or rely on kerosene for cooking, and that's another little problem the government is trying to sort out."