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February 28, 2019

Strategy ready to ensure smooth fuel supply to armed forces

National

February 28, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the war-like situation with India, Petroleum Division has carved out a strategy to keep oil depots across the country topped up to cater to needs of armed forces (Pak Army, Air Force and Navy) and to this effect it has been decided to keep fuel supply chain, ships carrying POL products and crude oil will be preferred in getting them berthed and those vessels having less important commercial or trading items will be put back in the queue.

The Petroleum Division has decided to maintain diesel reserves for 45 days and refineries will keep intact the supply chain of jet fuels other than the strategic reserves and more importantly, top management of the PSO has put their commercial oil reserves at the disposal of the forces. Other private oil marketing companies (OMCs) will also put their stocks at forces disposal.

Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan has asked PARCO (Pak-Arab Refinery Company) to put off its shut down scheduled for March and April in the wake of increased tension between the two nuclear states. Last year, it was decided that PARCO will go for shut down in March and April for maintenance purpose, but keeping in view the given situation, PARCO’s top management has decided to defer its scheduled shut down on the request of Petroleum Minister.

These vital decisions have been made in a crucial meeting held here on Wednesday in Petroleum Division. Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Secretary Petroleum Division, other top officials of the ministry such as DG Oil, DGPC, and representatives of refineries, oil marketing companies and OCAC (oil companies’ advisory council) attended the meeting and devised effective modus operandi to top up oil reserves to well maintain the supply of fuel to armed forces.

According to the senior official who attended the meeting, the OMCs have also been asked to immediately withdraw their finished products from white oil pipeline that goes from Karachi to mid country refinery — PARCO so that the finished products that country will import in war-like situation can be smoothly transported to mid country. Likewise, other pipeline that carries the crude oil from Karachi to PARCO will also be kept updated.

Spokesman for the Petroleum Division, Additional Secretary Sher Afgan confirmed saying the meeting has been held to review the existing fuel stocks and share the data about stocks with armed forces and seeks the demand from forces keeping in view their own analysis. He said that diesel is enough for more than one month consumption. However, he refused to share the data about the reserves of jet fuel. But he said that the country has plenty of jet fuel. Mr Afgan also told that a liaison committee headed by DG Oil has also been constituted to continue to coordinate with stakeholders on fuel situation.

In the meeting, the senior official said, the authorities have been asked to get the fuel requirement from forces during the normal days and the demand during the war-like situation. Director General Oil has been given the task to keep liaison on daily basis with Pak Army, Air Force and Naval Force on fuel situation.

It has also been decided that all oil marketing companies will closely coordinate with provincial chief secretaries, home secretaries, rangers for beefing up the security of oil depots and other sensitive oil related installations across the country.

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