Tankers’ strike disrupts petroleum supply

OCAC demands immediate intervention by Petroleum Division

Our Correspondent September 19, 2023
Oil tankers. PHOTO: REUTERS


As a tanker operators’ strike disrupts petroleum supply, the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) has called on the government to swiftly intervene and address the issue.

In a letter to the Petroleum Division’s director general oil, the OCAC – a grouping of refineries and oil marketing companies (OMCs), said “on behalf of member companies, it would like to bring to your attention the ongoing strike by oil transporters, which has resulted in significant disruption to operations and the distribution of petroleum products across the country”.

At a meeting on Monday, OCAC said, representatives of OMCs provided critical updates on the challenges and issues they were facing at key terminals and depots.

Owing to the strike by oil tankers, the supply of oil had been affected at three key depots, it said.

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These included the Port Qasim, Korangi and Keamari Terminal, where cargo loading on tank lorries had been severely affected. At Jaglot and Sihala Depot, Pakistan State Oil encountered problems, which exacerbated supply chain disruptions in the northern area of Pakistan.

In addition, Shell Pakistan reported that they faced issues at Shikarpur Depot in the morning. “Although the issue has been resolved temporarily, there is a risk of recurrence,” OCAC cautioned.

Additionally, similar problems were being reported at Super Highway, Karachi.

“We request your immediate intervention in this matter and further request you to intimate the chief secretary of respective provinces to take prompt action to ensure the uninterrupted loading on tank lorries at depots,” it said.

“This will enable us to maintain a consistent and reliable supply of petroleum products to all regions and avoid any adverse consequences like shortages in the country.”

Separately, the Oil Tankers Association, in its letter to the DG oil, referred to a meeting held on August 24, 2023, which was chaired by the additional secretary (policy) of the Petroleum Division. They discussed the share of motor gasoline (petrol) in road movement after the dualisation of white oil pipeline.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2023.

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