Tuesday November 29, 2022

PTI protests on roads: Timely action averts POL availability crisis in upstream country

November 11, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Amid the ongoing PTI protests on various roads, swift action taken here on Thursday by the Petroleum Division’s top officials has averted a POL products availability crisis in the upstream country by getting the roads leading towards Attock Refinery Limited (ARL), Rawalpindi, cleared. This has been done to ensure the arrival of crude oil from KPK and Punjab.

The top management of ARL on Thursday sought help of the federal government to get the roads cleared from PTI protesters to ensure the arrival of crude oil from KPK and Punjab to the refinery. The refinery said only then it could smoothly provide finished products to its outlets in the upstream country and uninterrupted supply of jet fuel to the International Airport, Islamabad.

The ARL drew the attention of the Petroleum Division in the first half of Thursday, seeking the intervention of the government. Keeping in view the sensitivity and gravity of the issue, top functionaries of the Petroleum Division swung into action and sensitised the interior ministry’s top mandarins, chief secretaries of KP and Punjab and managed to get the roads cleared for smooth supply of crude oil towards the refinery and its outflow of finished products to the International Airport, Islamabad, and its outlets in the region.

“We were alarmed when we received reports that the supply of crude oil has been halted by the protesters on the road at Rawat leading towards the site of the refinery. Likewise, the road coming from the KP was also blocked. We immediately informed the Petroleum Division, which took swift action, paving the way for restoration of supply,” one of the top officials of Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) confirmed to The News.

He said the ARL is the only refinery in Pakistan that utilises the local crude oil from Kohat and Karak in KPK and Pothohar region in Punjab for finished products. In case of disruption again in the smooth supply of crude oil, the crisis of POL products availability can hit the upstream region. More importantly, it could jeopardise the supply of Jet Fuel to the International Airport Islamabad.

“In case, crude oil is not lifted from the oil fields for a certain time because of protests, then gas supply of 400mmcfd would also be disrupted,” he warned.