The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has imposed a fine of Rs5 million each on three oil marketing companies (OMCs) after they were found involved in creating artificial shortage of petrol in the country by hoarding the commodity in first 10 days of the current month.
Hoarding and artificial shortage was witnessed soon after the government’s decision to pass on the impact of plunging international oil prices to consumers by lowering ex-refinery prices amid protests from the OMCs.
“Ogra imposed a penalty of Rs5 million each on Byco, Askar and BE Energy on show-cause notices issued during oil shortage crisis earlier this month,” Ogra spokesman Imran Ghaznavi tweeted.
A preliminary investigation report of the Petroleum Division and physical inspection by Ogra, in collaboration with the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP), indicated that the three OMCs were involved in hoarding petrol from June 1 to June 10.
Data analysis showed that the market share of BE Energy dropped to 0.2% in the first 10 days of June, which was 2.3% on May 20. BE Energy had a stock of 8,697 metric tons at the time of inspection.
In the same period, Byco’s market share dropped to 2.2% from 3.6%. Byco had a stock of 413 metric tons at BE terminal at Port Qasim on June 10. Askar had a stock of 7,387 metric tons on June 9 at the Hascol terminal.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2020.