LAHORE: Petrol supplies in the country will normalise in 48 hours, since fresh supplies from oil refineries will reach the cities, said the Managing Director (MD) of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Irfan Qureshi, on Tuesday.
“I assure you that fresh supplies will arrive in Punjab within 48 hours, and every fuel station will have petrol,” he remarked.
While addressing a press conference, the PSO MD said that there were multiple reasons behind the recent petrol crisis, some of which included the prevalent violence in Karachi, the devastation caused by the floods, Eid holidays and transportation issues.
He said that out of the 11 oil marketing companies (OMC), PSO was the only entity that provided fuel to the whole country. “We have a 48 percent market share. We did our best to facilitate the people but the insufficient stocks with other OMCs triggered the shortage”, he remarked, adding that the floodwaters played a colossal role in suspending the operations of the oil refineries.
He informed that Parco had also resumed its operations on Monday, and will hopefully produce sufficient fuel to cater to the need of the entire country. The PSO MD said that the recent floods caused severe damage to the roads, due to which transportation from Parco was colossally affected, resulting in the shut down of the refinery.
“Parco remained non-operational for 43 days. Moreover, violence in Karachi caused suspension in the transportation of fuel,” he said, adding the situation would improve in next two days.
While commenting on the arrival of the fuel ships, the PSO MD informed that two of the three vessels, each containing 40,000 metric tons of Mogas, have been discharged at the Kaemari port.
“Another ship containing 38,000 metric tons of fuel will arrive on October 3, which will further help improve the situation,” he said, adding that there was no shortage of petrol in the city as they possessed sufficient stock.
While speaking about the circular debt, the MD said IPPs owe Rs89 billion and Pepco Rs50 billion while it has to pay Rs90 billion to refineries and Rs32 billion to foreign supplies. “Looking at the severe situation, it is very necessary that the circular debt should be ended,” he said adding despite poor financial situation, there is no chance of default of the company.
To a question of black-marketing of petrol by the fuel stations, Sheikh said it was the duty of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to stop it, adding that the PSO checked all its fuel stations to prevent the exploitation of the situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2010.