Oil tankers end strike; Fuel supply resumes in Pakistan

Oil Tankers strike ends in Pakistan.

By Muhammad Luqman
Petrol supplies became normal in Pakistan on Wednesday after the owners of fuel tankers ended their protest strike on its third day, dispelling fears of a fuel shortage that had prompted long queues of panicked fuel buyers at petrol stations especially in port city of Karachi.
According to major players of Pakistan’s Oil and Gas sector, the South Asian country has 10 to 11 days of oil stock reserves. It was suspension of supplies to the gas stations that created the fears of petroleum shortage.
Tanker owners were protesting against a safety drive by the Oil and Gas sector regulator, OGRA , following June 25 accident when a fuel tanker explosion that killed 216 people.
“We have decided to resume the oil supply after successful talks with the government,” said Yousaf Shiwani, President of the oil tankers’ association, claiming that government officials had conceded to association’s demands to extend the timeframe to adopt the new safety measures.
Officials of Ministry of Petroleum believe that safety has to improve in the country as very few trucks are roadworthy, posing a danger to the public.
Pakistan’s safety regulator suspected oil marketing companies were backing the strike and would “expose” the firms, OGRA spokesman said.
“We will not allow this blackmailing,” OGRA spokesman Imran Ghazanvi told a news conference.
Last month’s accident in the central province of Punjab was triggered by an inferno caused by a leak from a tanker carrying fuel, killing villagers who had flocked around in hopes of collecting spilled petroleum from the vehicle.
Pakistan had experienced worst oil shortage in January 2015 when most of the petrol stations across the country became dry due to delay in the import of crude oil and processed petroleum products.


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