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January 17, 2015

PSO stocks in KP dry up


January 17, 2015

PESHAWAR: Like many other parts of the country, some petrol pumps in the metropolis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday also stopped selling petrol as stocks of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in the province dried up.
However, an officer of the PSO, who wished not to be named, said that shortage of the vital fuel would not get as severe in any part of the province as in Punjab.The PSO officer admitted that PSO stocks in the province had dried up. However, he added that supply in transit would keep arriving at the Toru Jabba depot saving the local consumers of any Punjab-like petrol shortage situation.
Attributing the current shortage of petrol to two major factors, the PSO officer said the recent decrease in the prices of POL had also partly led to the present supply situation.He added that the other reason for the current crisis is the Rs220 billion dues of the PSO outstanding against some Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and public sector institutions.
When his attention was drawn to at least half a dozen filling stations in the city that had stopped selling petrol, he said only in Peshawar region the PSO was operating more than 350 stations selling over 0.4 million liters petrol on a daily basis.
He said that after frequent decrease in the prices of POL products, the daily demand for petrol in the province increased from 400,000 litres to more than 800,000 litres. “It simply doubled the demand for petrol in the province which the PSO is striving hard to meet,” he added.
The PSO officer said that to cope with any crisis-like situation for some entities of strategic importance, even on Friday 80,000 litres petrol was provided to two companies—Koko Mardan Police and Metro.
“We still continue to be the largest petrol supply company in the country with our share of 68 percent of the total supply. Only on the night between December 31 and January 1, we issued a tranche of 2.1 million litres and more than 6.5 million litres to various outlets

during the last month in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. But unfortunately a few specific suppliers got the lion’s share of the supply,” he maintained. He said the petrol supply situation would take at least seven days to get normal.
However, the situation regarding other companies like Shell, Total, Parco, etc remained normal in the province. Their businesses have rather started thriving, prompting them to even cancel the weekly day-off tomorrow (Sunday) of their employees to meet the growing petrol requirements of the consumers.“Even the dealers of the PSO are now approaching us to get petrol for their stations by offering to pay cash,” an employee of one of the private petrol supply companies told the News.It was observed on Friday that petrol sale on the stations being operated by companies other than PSO went up by 25 percent.
The decrease in the petrol prices also led to an increase in transportation of fuel to neighboring Afghanistan. Some petrol pumps, as pointed out by a POL dealer from a tribal agency, located in the border areas such as Landikotal, recorded an increase of more than 30 percent in their petrol sales for Afghanistan.
“It is true that transportation of petrol to Afghanistan has gone up after decline in its prices. Each gas station in the towns bordering Afghanistan is daily selling 2,000-3,000 litres extra. It is transported in 25-litre easy-carry jerry cans to the neighbouring country where its price is now comparatively high,” he said.

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