Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Oil Refineries in Pakistan are on Brink of Closing Down

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Oil Refineries in PakistanOil refineries in Pakistan are facing many problems and may end up shutting down. The reason being continuous closure of both private and public oil based power plants. The message has been conveyed to government as well.

Attock Refinery Ltd (ARL) has informed the Power Division of the Ministry of Energy about serious operational problems in the northern region. Furthermore, the existing problem may lead to shutting down of plants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pothwar region.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ordered to shut the oil based plants which has led to sub optimal capacity of nearly all the domestic refineries. This was done to support the liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) has already protested over the decision without prior arrangement for product uplift.

Chief Executive Officer of ARL Adil Khattak stated that, “We request you for addressing the issue on an urgent basis failing of which refinery will have no option but to go for a shutdown which will cause widespread shortages of products in our region.”

ARL is the only refinery in the north meeting oil requirements beyond Gujrat to Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, KP and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Acting Secretary Petroleum Sultan Sikandar Raja did not shed light on the developing situation of Oil refineries in Pakistan. The stock of petroleum has already dropped to 12 and 16 days. The minimum limit is 21 says.

Furthermore, Mr Khattak told the secretary petroleum that “abrupt shutdown of IPPs running on furnace oil has resulted in serious problems for ARL which has already significantly reduced its plant throughput, which will not only affect the supplies of motor gasoline, high-speed diesel (HSD) and jet fuels to oil marketing companies (OMCs) in this region but will also affect crude receipts from the fields that is being processed at ARL.”

It is been told to government that if the problem persist government will have to import. Furthermore, an official said ministry of energy was created by combing water, power and petroleum but it has not been working with full efficiency and effectiveness. The ministry also does not have a full time minister; all these have badly affected the oil refineries in Pakistan.

About the Author

- Junaid Ashraf has a Master of Philosophy degree in government and public policy. He has international publications through Taylor & Francis, a leading British publishing body. He regularly write columns for newspapers. His interests include international political economy, geopolitics and good governance. He writes for Asia Times.