The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has issued show-cause notices to three Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for not maintaining the required stocks of fuel, which caused a disturbance in the smooth supply of petroleum products in the country.
“Ogra has issued show-cause notices to three OMC’s, where major dry outs have been reported,” OGRA spokesman Imran Ghaznavi said in a brief statement.
Shell Pakistan Limited, Attock Petroleum Limited and Total Parco Pakistan Limited have been directed to submit a reply within 24 hours.
On June 2, the authority had directed Chief Executives of 33 OMCs to ensure the availability of petroleum products at their retail outlets.
“It is being reported in print and electronic media as well as physical verification through Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) that several outlets are running dry or short of product affecting product availability to the consumers,” OGRA mentioned in a letter sent to OMCs, a copy of which is available with state-run media.
The OMCs had also been directed to ensure the availability of petroleum products on an immediate basis at their retail outlets, keeping in view the demand to avoid any inconvenience to the commuters.
Due to the prevailing supply situation, the HDIP was tasked to physically verify product availability at storages, OMC depots, and retail outlets.
Accordingly, the HDIP had submitted a preliminary report wherein slight/minimal variations had been observed in the product availability as reported in the Daily Stocks and Supplies Position (DSSP) by Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAS) in a recent meeting held at the Ministry of Energy.
“lt has also been noted that few OMCs are maintaining a very healthy stock position at some locations, especially in the south as against low inventory at mid and upcountry, whereas few OMCs are operating at critically low volumes throughout the country thus threatening the continuity of supplies to retail outlets,” the authority informed the Petroleum Division on the issue.
OGRA said the HDIP had also reported that sufficient product was not being supplied to retail outlets in a timely manner, as per their demand, by the concerned OMCs that had affected the product availability in the market.
The authority also suggested the Petroleum Division to direct OMCs to ensure requisite stock throughout the country aimed at providing uninterrupted supplies to avoid any dry-out situation.
MEPD (Ministry of Energy Petroleum Division), being a competent authority, is therefore requested that the decisions taken by it in the Product Review Meeting held on May 13, with respect to the schedule of imports of petroleum products and local production volumes as committed/allocated by refineries for supplies to all OMCs, be aligned as per the market demand and executed/ implemented timely to maintain sufficient requisite stocks in the country and avoid any untoward situation that may affect the masses.
A report in this respect may also be sought by the DG (Oil) MEPD, from the respective OMCs to confirm that the imports, as committed by them, were on time and, if needed, the DG oil “May consider to re-schedule the imports to the emerging country demands.”