Pakistan's Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has denied reports which stated that the country's petrol and diesel stocks were running low. The authority said that sufficient stocks are available in the country.
“Ogra strongly rebuts the speculations on petrol/diesel shortages," spokesperson Imran Ghaznavi said in a press release, as quoted by Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper,
He further said that enough stocks are available to fulfil petrol demand for the next 18 days and diesel demand for the next 37 days.
The press release also states, "Ships carrying 101,000 metric tonnes of petrol are at berth/outer anchorage. The local refineries are playing their due role in meeting the demand for petroleum products."
This statement from Ogra came a day after petrol dealers told Dawn that oil marketing companies had cut down supplies of petroleum products over long delays in issuing letters of credit (LCs) by private banks for imports. This led to long queues and panic buying of petrol in various cities across the country.
Earlier this month, the Petroleum Division of the Ministry of Energy had urged an urgent intervention from the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to organise the opening of LCs for fuel imports as the entire industry, including oil marketing companies and refineries, raised red flags over looming supply disruption.
“The supply chain was on the verge of collapse. Therefore, the petroleum division and Ogra were also now writing letters to the finance ministry and the SBP to protect their positions given supply disruption that could take more than six weeks to revive,” an official said.
“The smaller oil marketing companies had stopped importing crude oil as the paucity of dollars delayed opening of letters of credit and slowly squeezed the process completely,” Secretary Information of the Petroleum Dealers Association, Atif Ahmad, told Dawn.
He further said that the market has been short on supplies for the last two weeks, but the situation was kept under control by the companies as they diverted supplies to the main cities, letting the rural side bear the brunt.
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