The Arab oil boycott threatens to put the Netherlands on petrol and fuel oil rationing, and to paralyse at least half the capacity of the port of Rotterdam -- the world's leading oil centre.
GV PAN Harbour ZOOM IN on oil tanker
GV Tankers by refinery
GV PAN from tanker to refinery in distance (2 shots)
GV Oil train PAN to refinery
GV Storage tank
GV Refinery (2 shots)
GV Gil tankers and cars past refinery ZOOM into refinery (2 shots)
GV Oil tankers along road leaving and arriving at refinery (2 shots)
Initials AE/18.15 AE/18.39
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Background: The Arab oil boycott threatens to put the Netherlands on petrol and fuel oil rationing, and to paralyse at least half the capacity of the port of Rotterdam -- the world's leading oil centre. The boycott also poses the threat of serious cut-backs at the refineries and chemical plants in the Rotterdam-Europort area, indirectly affecting supplies to West Germany, Belgium and Britain.
The oil boycott was placed on the Netherlands by the major Arab oil producers as punishment for what they called Holland's "unreserved support" for Israel. The boycott, if extended, would cut off 70 per cent of oil passing through Rotterdam, leaving more than half the port's capacity at a standstill.
Last year, 130 million tons of crude oil passed through the port, two-thirds of it exported immediately, either shipped overseas or piped across Europe, and the rest processed at the Europort refineries. A cut-back in the Europort refineries would hit Holland hardest. The refineries process Holland's domestic consumption of oil -- which last year totalled 23 million tons.
The port of Rotterdam -- owned and operated by the City -- would also loss its main source of income -- harbour dues. Last year, dues from oil tankers totalled GBP 20,000,000 sterling (44,000,000 U.S. dollars). Cut-backs would also mean the threat of unemployment, and a cut in the profits-tax revenue for the Dutch Government.
The Dutch Government has already introduced car-free Sundays and other minor restrictions, with severs penalties for people who don't comply. And preparations are being made for rationing, while the European Economic Commission had been planning ways of lessening the overall effect of the boycott on community members.