‘No shortage of petrol, diesel in Pakistan’
In light of recent reports of a gasoline and diesel shortage in Pakistan, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has issued a statement to set the record straight.
On Sunday, OGRA Spokesperson Imran Ghaznavi tweeted that “there is ample stock of petrol and diesel in the country.” Reports of a fuel shortage in the country are untrue, as stated by OGRA.
He also said, “There are plenty of supplies of gasoline and diesel across the country. The OGRA disputes the claims that there will be a shortage of gasoline and diesel. There are enough usable supplies of gasoline and diesel to last the country for 17 days and 32 days, respectively.
OGRA also reported that local refineries were operating at full capacity to meet the demand for petroleum products, with another 80,000 metric tonnes of petrol ships and another 90,000 metric tonnes of diesel ships at berth/outer anchorage.
He elaborated in the thread, writing, “Furthermore, ships carrying 80,000MT petrol (MS) and 90,000MT HSD (diesel) are at berth/outer anchorage. Local refining facilities are also functioning and contributing to meeting the need for petroleum products.
Challenges in obtaining a loan
Concerns about the availability of petroleum were first reported by the News International on Saturday.
If banks refuse to settle LCs for the import of crude and petroleum products, the oil industry is concerned that it will take six to eight weeks for the chain of petroleum products to normalise in the country.
On Friday, this concern was communicated to the Ministry of Finance by the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC), which represents refineries and oil marketing companies (OMCs).
After OCAC members began having trouble with the settlement of LCs, the organisation formally requested assistance from the ministry. Despite oil imports being included in the list of necessities for opening and settling of credit letters, this situation has arisen.
The OCAC noted that Pakistan has an energy deficit and that, in order to meet energy demand, the country imports roughly $1.3 billion worth of petroleum products every month, including 430,000 tonnes of Mogas, 200,000 tonnes of high-speed diesel, and 650,000 tonnes of crude oil, through the opening of LCs at OMCs and refineries.
But at the moment, it said, the business was having serious problems with the opening and confirmation of credit letters, which was causing delays in multiple cargoes and even some cancellations.
According to the OCAC, things have gotten much worse this month, as banks have stopped establishing LCs for business owners.
The OCAC warned that a fuel shortage could occur “if LCs are not established on a timely basis, critical imports of petroleum products would be impacted.”