ISLAMABAD-The government is working out a multi-pronged strategy to ensure smooth supply of fuel across the country by maintaining daily sales data of depots and petrol pumps, bringing necessary changes in rules and procedures of OGRA besides sealing all illegal filling stations.

“Accordingly, a law will be enacted under which live data of oil depots’ sales and ‘nozzle sale’ data (actual dispensed fuel) of petrol pumps to be recorded in a system on daily basis,” a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told APP. He said it would help streamline the matters related to keeping the fuel supply chain intact without any disturbance besides ensuring effective monitoring of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) fuel stocks, supply to petroleum pumps and their onward sale to end consumers.

The official hoped that the system for maintaining the data of oil depots would be in place during next a few weeks, while its implementation on petrol pumps could be time consuming due to a big number of almost 9,000 legal registered filling stations operating across the country. “These pumps are selling fuel under a label of their respective OMCs.”

In addition, he said there were more than 1,500 illegal stations, which were not associated or in agreement with any OMC. He vowed to shut down all such illegal filling outlets through an effective crackdown.

“The government wants to end the issue of fuel hoarding once for all,” he said, adding that it would not be tolerated that some OMCs curtailed supply to petrol pumps when the government reduced the oil prices to pass on benefit to the common man, and they started their routine business after surge in petroleum prices to make a quick buck. The official said efforts were being made to strengthen the role of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) aimed at increasing its enforcement capabilities to instantly suspend licences of OMCs violating conditions with regard to maintaining mandatory fuel stocks.

He said necessary amendments would be made in Rules, Procedures and Act [if deemed appropriate] of OGRA, enabling it to exercise ‘complete authority’ against the licence conditions violators. According to an official document available with APP, the country’s total consumption of petroleum products stood at 19.68 Million Tonnes (MTs) during the year 2019-20, out of which 11.59 MTs was achieved through local refineries and 8.09 MT through import.

Whereas, it has fixed the target of producing 31.12 Million Barrel (MBL) oil, 1.58 Trillion Cubic Feet Gas (TCF) gas during the fiscal year 2020-21 aimed at meeting the maximum domestic fuel requirements through indigenous means and bringing down the country’s oil import bill. Currently, as many as five refineries are operating in the country with overall installed capacity of 417,400 barrel per day (BPD) oil and contributing significantly in meeting the petroleum needs through indigenous production. Out of which, Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) has 100,000 BPD oil refining capacity, Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) 53,400 BPD, Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (Byco) 150,000 BPD, National Refinery Limited (NRL) 64,000 BPD and Pakistan Refinery Limited 50,000 BPD.

During the period under review, the petrol consumption in the country stood at 7.6 MTs per annum, out of which 30 per cent was being catered from local refineries and rest was being imported to meet the national demand. Similarly, the consumption of diesel was around 7.3 MTs/annum. The local production could meet 65 per cent of the total demand, while rest was being imported.