Disruption in petrol supply persistsArchive
KARACHI: A day after the All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association ended its strike, disruption in the supply of fuel (excluding CNG) persisted on Wednesday, with reports of pumps remaining closed in many areas.
Information gathered by Dawn showed that countrywide sales of petrol soared to 37,500 tonnes on Tuesday after oil tankers resumed supply to pumps in the evening.
The average daily sales of petrol in August were 15,000 tonnes.
However, on Wednesday, the supply of petrol to some pumps was partially restored.
Oil industry executives hoped that the situation might take a day or two to normalise.
“There might be some problem as supply of petrol from oil marketing companies (OMCs) was below expectation. For this reason, some pumps went dry while long queues of consumers were witnessed at others,” Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) Chairman Abdul Sami Khan said. He hoped that the supply of petrol may normalise by Thursday.
He said the Sui Southern Gas Company cooperated by keeping CNG supply to outlets open till 6pm on Wednesday despite it being a gas holiday.
Dealers lifted petrol in low quantities ahead of possible price cut from Sept 1.
With already low petrol storage in underground tanks, the situation became worse following the strike by oil tankers’ association.
A few days ahead of price cut announcement, vehicle owners also procured petrol in low quantity. As soon as the supply of petrol resumed from Tuesday afternoon, car and bike owners filled the fuel tanks and bought extra petrol in cans. This scene was witnessed in many locations in Karachi on Wednesday too.
Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) Secretary General Aamir Butt said that Wednesday’s sales must be hovering between 30,000-35,000 tonnes as buyers thronged in larger numbers.
He said the oil tanker strike had actually disrupted the supply chain mechanism thus hitting 70-80 per cent vehicle owners all over the country.
“The broken supply chain would take time to normalise and hopefully the situation of petrol supply to the pumps would be smooth either by Thursday afternoon or by Friday morning,” he said.
He further claimed, “Currently no shortage of petrol exists. Around 100,000 tonnes of imported petrol is lined up coupled with sufficient petrol stocks of 12-13 days in the country.”
He said around 25,000 tonnes of petrol imported by Hascol and 47,000 tonnes by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was being discharged at the port on Wednesday while another oil tanker carrying 21,000 tonnes imported by Attock Petroleum Limited/Bakri Trading Company was at the outer anchorage.
“We have planned to import around 400,000 tonnes of petrol in September based on the demand and supply situation,” he said.
The country imported around 382,805 tonnes of petrol in July and 340,000 tonnes in August, he informed.
The refineries, he added, are producing 4,500 tonnes per day.
He said petrol sales in August stood at 460,000 tonnes as compared to 414,000 tonnes in July.
Pakistan has imported 3.124 million tonnes of petrol during 2014-15 as compared to 2.193m tonnes in 2013-14.
Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2015
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