Pakistan may face fuel shortage in mid February


Pakistan could face a fuel shortage in at second fortnight of February, Reuters news agency reported Tuesday citing sources from industry and commerce.
“There is no shortage this fortnight. If we don’t have LCs (letters of credit) open right now, we might see shortages in the next fortnight,” Reuters quoted a senior official at one of the oil companies as saying.
According to the news agency, the crisis is expected to take place as banks have stopped issuing LCs (Letter of Credit) to facilitate oil import. The main reason however, is country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves.
A week ago, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had rubbished reports of any expected fuel shortage in country. “Ogra strongly rebuts the speculations on petrol/diesel shortages,” OGRA spokesperson Imran Ghaznavi had said in a press release.
“Furthermore, ships carrying 101,000 metric tonnes petrol are at berth/outer anchorage,” the press release added. “The local refineries are playing their due role in meeting the demand for petroleum products.”
It is pertinent to mention here that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is in Islamabad currently, deliberating completion of the ninth review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.
In the discussions continuing from Tuesday to Friday, the two sides will exchange information during technical phase of negotiations.
Reuters reported Tuesday that delays in the opening of LCs could “lead to a fuel shortage in the country”, according to the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC).