Tuesday April 16, 2024

Govt to resolve LC issue of refineries, OMCs

By Khalid Mustafa
January 25, 2023
A general view of an oil refinery. — AFP/File
A general view of an oil refinery. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Masood Khan will meet the State Bank of Pakistan governor on Wednesday to discuss prioritised opening of credit letters to import petrol, an official of the Energy Ministry said.

On January 19, the Petroleum Division wrote a letter to the SBP governor to draw attention to the limited stocks of POL in the country and impending dry-out. The SBP was asked for immediate establishment of 32 credit letters of refineries (PARCO and PRL) and oil marketing companies (PSO, GO, Hescol, BE, TAJ, PUMA, APL, EURO and Flow) to ensure import of crude oil and petroleum products.

The official said that when the country was not faced with the letters of credit crisis, 4-5 petrol cargoes were being imported, which was now down to 1.5 cargoes. However, three petrol cargoes of PSO, GO and Shell would soon arrive in the country.

PSO is importing a cargo of 50,000 metric tonnes, whereas cargoes of GO and Shell were smaller. However, it will be enough to avert the dry-out for the next fortnight,” the official informed.

The SBP governor would be briefed about the current stocks of POL in the country by the petroleum minister. “Petroleum Division on January 19, 2023, sent the prioritised LCs list for import of crude oil, Mogas, diesel, and lubricants,” the official said.

Under the first priority list, DG oil recommends SBP to establish 23 credit letters for the import of crude oil and mogas. Under the second priority, 5 credit letters need to be established for the import of high-speed diesel, whereas under the third priority list, 4 LCs for the import of lubricants had been recommended to the central bank for required action.

According to the first prioritised list, PARCO needs the establishment of LCs for the import of two cargoes each having 535,000 barrels from ADNOC, one on January 13 and the other one on January 19. PRL also needs the opening of LC for the import of 532,000 barrels of crude oil on January 30-31.

OMCs like PSO need the immediate establishment of LCs for the import of two cargoes, with each having 50,000 metric tonnes of mogas; one on January 17 and the other one on January 26. GO needs the opening of 6 LCs to import 6 mogas cargoes, BE needs 4 LCs to import mogas, TAJ and HPL need two LCs, whereas PUMA, APL and Flow need 1 LC each to import their respective mogas cargoes.

The second priority list is for the import of HSD. OMCs such as TAJ need the opening of LC to import 4,000 metric tonnes on February 4, 2023, while GO needs to establish 3 LCs for import of three cargoes having HSD on February 25-27.

Under the third priority list for the import of lubricants, PSO needs to establish LCs for import of three cargoes on March, 30, May 25, and May 20, and EURO is required to open LC for one cargo of lubricants, which has already arrived.

OGRA statement

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) strongly refuted the claims on petrol/diesel shortages in the country on Tuesday.

OGRA Spokesman Imran Ghaznavi said, “The country has sufficient petrol and diesel stocks for meeting the demand for 18 and 37 days respectively. Furthermore, ships carrying 101,000 metric tonnes petrol are at berth/outer anchorage.”

Local refineries have been playing their due role in meeting the demand of petroleum products, the spokesman added.