Oil Crisis

The country is now hit by an oil crisis as a result of shutting down of local refineries and the inability of the oil companies to meet the demand of the market. This has affected the smooth functioning of aviation and security aircraft. The Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) declared that due to the cut down of supply, the oil companies had to scale down their production but now it has reached a point of complete shutdown and it is affecting the jet fuels.

This problem started developing in October after the shutdown of oil based power plants. If such a move was to be taken, an effective policy should have been drafted to meet the demands of the market. This issue has now entered its sixth week and by now, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) – which is the largest fuel supplier in the country – is advising its clients to keep additional fuel on the jets and refrain from refuelling as much as possible. Although it has ordered two additional vessels of jet fuels but their delivery is expected over the weekend. The airports of Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad and Peshawar were declared in a dry out position by PSO and will soon be compelled to declare NOTAM – a situation where a Notice to Airmen – is issued to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.

This should be a clear call to action for the authorities, especially the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. He is also the Petroleum Minister and has an understanding of the aviation business. He also owns an airline himself. He has the right amount of experience and knowledge to push for a feasible solution at the moment, which is why a delay in the process would only result in the problem persisting and becoming larger than it is.

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