–Body demands probe after OMCs delay import of petroleum products, ignore SOPs for fuel storage
ISLAMABAD: Shortage of petroleum products (POL) was witnessed on Tuesday in major parts of the country due to limited supplies of fuel to retail outlets by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), Pakistan Today has observed.
Sources said that the OMCs failed to maintain stocks of fuel at their depots as per their license terms i.e. 20 days, and also delayed the import of fuel. They said that due to the limited availability of fuel stocks with retail outlets, consumers could not find oil as per their demands, which also led to panic buying.
The sources also said that OMCs have reduced lifting fuel from local refineries and the state-owned oil giant (PSO) has been facing the burden of oil requirements. And, petroleum shortage is likely to persist more few days till the supply situation improves, they added.
Meanwhile, the All Pakistan Petroleum Retailers Association (APPRA) demanded a detailed probe into a nationwide fuel shortage and asked the authorities to fix the responsibility.
According to APPRA, all the oil companies except PSO delayed the import of petroleum products and violated the rules regarding maintaining the fuel stock.
Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, a leader of APPRA, said that unnecessary delay in the import of petroleum products has inflicted a loss of billions of rupees to the government. He said that presently oil marketing companies have stopped supply to the petrol pumps while some filling stations are getting reduced supplies, which are not enough to satisfy the demand of consumers resulting in serious problems.
Paracha said that the shortage of petroleum products can hit the transport sector and lead to increased fares of public transport; therefore, petroleum products should be imported immediately.
Petroleum dealers have already suffered a lot during the lockdown and now a scarcity of fuel is hitting their businesses, he said, adding that the issues of owners of filling stations should be resolved and a new pricing formula for refineries, oil marketing companies and dealers should be introduced.
Ghiyas Paracha also said that the oil and gas sector needs a new pricing formula according to the changed local and global situation amid pandemic, as the old formula is no longer workable.
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in a statement informed that it (PSO) has ample fuel reserves to meet the nation’s need. PSO said that the company has ample reserves in its stocks and it is being dispensed off at all PSO retail outlets across the country. On June 01, 2020, PSO sold more than 48,000 Metric Tons of petroleum products across the country which comes to around a vessel’s quantity.
According to PSO, it has received a cargo of around 58,000 MT of Mogas on May 30 to be followed by five more cargoes around 60,000 MT each arriving during the current month to meet the requirements.
“Keeping terminals and its depots operational 24/7 and taking these preemptive measures are a testament to PSO’s commitment to ensuring smooth fuel supplies nationwide,” said state-owned oil giant PSO.