The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Tuesday refuted reports about limited stocks of high speed diesel (HSD), emphasising that sufficient stock was available in the country to cater to demand.

“It has been noted that certain sections of [the] press reported on the limited stocks of diesel in the country which is not correct,” an Ogra spokesperson said in a statement.

Later in the day, the Ministry of Energy also iterated that sufficient petrol and diesel stocks were present.

“The news circulating regarding fuel shortage is baseless and contrary to facts,” it said in a press release. It added that as of Nov 7, petrol stocks amounted to 550,000 MT which was enough for 21 days while diesel stocks were 438,000 MT which was enough for 15 days.

“PSO’s planned import of diesel for the month of November 2022 is around 220,000 MT out of which one cargo is on the way to Karachi and is expected to arrive on November 12, 2022, while cargoes of other OMCs are in line to meet the country’s planned demand.

“Keeping in view the above position, the stock in the country is sufficient to take care of current requirements,” the press release stated.

The refutations came in response to media reports on Monday on a letter written by Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) Secretary General Syed Nasir Abbas Zaidi to the Ogra chairman in which he cautioned about “product availability challenges in various pockets of the country in days to come due to inadequate imports and limited local avail[ability]”.

The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, stated that the import of diesel in November might be challenging due to limited availability in the international market and very high premiums. “So far, only PSO has booked laycans of 220,000 MT and 10,000 MT by Flow Petroleum.

“However, it is alarming to note that MS (motor spirit/petrol) import laycans corresponding to the anticipated sales volume and stock cover have also not been booked.”

A laycan refers to the time period during which a cargo vessel must arrive at the agreed port.

According to the letter, the country faces a deficit of 210,000 MT and 147,100 MT of HSD and petrol, respectively.

“The import plan should have been finalised by importers but as of today, there is a deficit in the import plan,” the letter, which is dated Nov 3, stated.

The OCAC said the October sales of “quite a few” oil marketing companies (OMCs) were “much higher than the anticipated demand”, adding that the OMCs have continuously had low stocks. “Some OMCs that were allowed imports in the previous month for use next month have already consumed the parcels in advance.

“Keeping in view the ongoing sales trend and the number of days [of] cover currently being maintained by the OMCs, we foresee product availability challenges,” it added.

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