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September 4, 2020

Oil supply resumes after fire accident at Keamari terminal


September 4, 2020

KARACHI: Oil supply from Keamari terminal was temporarily suspended on Thursday after a fire broke out in the pipeline of state-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

The fire erupted in PSO’s fuel pipeline passing through Shell Pakistan’s terminal temporarily suspending the fuel supply from Keamari.

“A fire erupted in PSO’s pipeline passing through Shell Pakistan’s premises in Keamari during maintenance work under Shell Pakistan’s supervision,” said a PSO’s spokesperson.

“PSO reacted swiftly to the incident and worked with emergency services to ensure the safety of all stakeholders. Operations resumed and supply is on.”

Almost all oil marketing companies have their storages at Keamari, and fuel is transported across the country from the site.

Spokesperson at Shell Pakistan Limited said a 20-inch diameter PSO import line passing inside Shell Pakistan’s terminal-1 at Keamari caught fire.

As the fire broke out, all the fuel transporting vehicles were removed from the vicinity of the engulfed oil terminal.

Shoib Ashraf, a spokesperson of the All Pakistan Oil Tankers and Contractors Association said the fire erupted during the maintenance work, which was extinguished soon.

“The loading and supply was temporarily halted, but the operations resumed soon after,” said Ashraf. “Now operations resumed at all the terminals in the Keamari are except Shell, which does not conduct operations during night.”

Geo News reported two casualties due to burning.

Sami Khan, president of Petroleum Dealers Association said the operations at Keamari had been suspended temporarily, but the supply continued from other depots. “There has been no problem and fuel remained reaching the fuel stations.”

Analysts said the maintenance and safety standards compliance of key oil pipelines is crucial. Pakistan, being an import reliant country, needs to ensure the most stringent of compliance in terms of pipelines for the fuel supply coming into Karachi and Shell Pakistan is willing to support all stakeholders in this regards so that such unfortunate incidents can be avoided.

Oil supplies were affected due to lockdown and other disruptions in the past, causing long queues of customers at the fuel stations.

People were seen flocking at the petrol stations that ran dry amid lockdown-driven transportation shortage and significant reduction in domestic oil prices. The normalcy resumed when prices of petroleum products were raised substantially.