The government has said it will punish oil marketers who are hoarding fuel or selling the same outside the country in the wake of a biting fuel shortage in the country.

In a letter to the CEOs of OMCs copied to Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, the government through the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has highlighted the increase of export loads by a section of the marketers.

EPRA has noted that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have prioritised loadings for export, while the local market bears the brunt of their action.

“The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has analyzed the daily petroleum holdings over the past four weeks and has noted that a number of OMCs have in the period under review given priority to export loadings while the local market was left to suffer intermittent supply,” the letter read.

In response, EPRA has proposed a reduction of capacity share for all OMCs who increased their transit volumes above their normal quotas when the county was writhing under the harsh shortage of fuel.

The authority has also proposed an increase of capacity for all OMCs whose local volume sales increased above their normal quota in the same period.

The shortage of fuel supply persisted for almost a week after the government released Sh34 billion in subsidies to the OMCs.

There have been speculations insinuating that OMCs are hoarding fuel in anticipation of a hike in fuel prices in the monthly review of fuel pump prices by EPRA that is released every month.