Qatar Sends Fuel (and Cooking Gas) Assistance to Libyan Rebels

Soon you'll be cooking with gas: Two boys wait in line for a full tank of propane, or cooking gas, outside a storage site in Beghazi, Libya. (image: Associated Press)

Qatari authorities said today that the country was behind some recent fuel deals with the Libyan rebels — highlighting Qatar’s role as the leading Arab state pushing for the ouster of the beleaguered Libyan colonel, Muammar Gaddafi.

Qatar said it had brokered a deal last week for a million barrels of crude oil from rebel-held eastern Libya, worth more than $100 million. Oil insiders had previously suspected the Persian Gulf state might be behind the sale, according to the Associated Press.

In addition, Qatar also made four fuel shipments to the rebels, including propane, gasoline, and diesel. The state-owned oil company, Tasweeq, reportedly handled the trade.

There have been accounts of shortages of propane, or “cooking gas” as it’s called in Libya, in several cities since the conflict began. And photographs in the media have shown lines of people waiting for fill-ups in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

The rebel territories have run short on fuel during the conflict since their outdated refining facilities are low on capacity, according to wire reports.

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