CNG holiday and ATL refinery’s annual maintenance shut down triggers petrol shortage

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Recalling the fact that CNG prices were raised due to the fact that it was a depleting natural resource and the high execs said that it should be saved and used sparingly therefore the prices of CNG are going to be increased – brought on par with petrol so people stop using it as a cheaper alternative to petrol but apart from Sindh, first CNG was subjected to load shedding and now its petrol’s turn, the only problem is that load shedding of petrol isn’t only limited to Punjab or Khyber Pukhtunkhwa but Sindh as well.

Pakistan’s oil import doubled in May from April’s three-year low volume of around 700,000 tonnes and it is expected to grow even further towards October as the official data reflected. Middle East based analysts suggested that the growing demand of oil in Pakistan is due to operational issues (mismanagement) however Pakistani source suggested otherwise saying that the May import volumes are reflective of demand in the country, one of the few places in the world where fuel oil usage for power generation is still growing.

Despite of the fact stated above showing that Pakistan’s oil imports doubled, petrol shortage was observed throughout the country but Punjab has been gravely affected. Long queues were observed outside petrol pumps for petrol as well as CNG while neither were available.

Various news networks which interviewed commuters, few said that they usually kept a higher stock of petrol near the end of the month or when a price hike was expected because that was usually when a shortage struck the market.

Tuesday was the second day of CNG’s weekly holiday and the entire load was shifted to petrol supplies and the petrol crisis erupted after Attock Refinery Limited’s (ARL) plant was shut on June 1 for one month for annual maintenance.

OGRA issued show cause notices to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) seeking explanation over the shortage of petrol at their retail outlets – and the government has given directives to the Ministry of Petroleum and OGRA to cancel licenses of those Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) which have failed to build storages to keep required stocks because as per license terms and conditions, OMCs are bound to develop storages to keep stocks of petrol and other oil products for 20 days. Small OMCs, which have market share of five to six per cent, have not yet built storages to meet the demand of fuel in case of emergency, sources said, adding however big companies – Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shell and Chevron – had set up required storages.

OGRA has requested the public to report the shortage of petrol to the authority’s office so proper action against the pump can be taken. Meanwhile, the public suffers.

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