Pakistan ups oil storage capacity

Jan 16 2002

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KARACHI, Jan 15: Pakistan has increased its oil storage capacity to offset emergency demand should border tensions with India erupt into a war, an industry official said on Tuesday.

“We have increased the crude storage capacity to 20 days from the normal 15 days,” the official at a state-run refinery told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“We have also raised the throughput to 80 per cent from the normal refinery capacity utilization of 70 per cent,” he said.

“It is being done under a contingency plan in view of the prevailing border tension.”

Although the tension between the nuclear-armed rivals has eased after President Pervez Musharraf outlawed five militant organizations at the weekend, India has ruled out an immediate military de-escalation on its border.

Pakistan’s National Refinery Ltd. has the capacity to process more than three million tons of crude annually, and Pakistan State Oil can store about 800,000 tons.

Oil accounts for more than 44 per cent of Pakistan’s energy needs, and the country relies heavily on 18 million tons of imported crude and petroleum products from Middle Eastern markets.—AFP