Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Oil transporters have gone on strike, suspending the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country due to an increase in supply through the while line pipeline, which transports petroleum products from Karachi to other parts of the country.
The Oil Tankers Contractors Association (OTCA) claimed that their strike has caused the suspension of petroleum products' supply by up to 90%. A leader of the association, Suleman Tareen, said that the supply of petrol via the white line pipeline on a high level after the supply of diesel through this means has deeply affected the oil transporter's business.
"The white line pipeline, which has been supplying petrol since 2021, is going to destroy our business; therefore we appeal to the government to give us a share in operating the vehicles it has made under the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) contract," Tareen said.
OTCA also demanded a hike in the fares for the supply routes and abstained from increasing the supply of petroleum products via the white line pipeline from Karachi to Mahmoodkot for five years.
As per a report by The News, the oil transporters have demanded a 100% increase in fares for local routes and a 50% increase for long routes, as well as a quota from the white oil pipeline.
Meanwhile, the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) has warned the government that the supply and distribution of petroleum products could be limited due to the strike of oil transporters, and called for the resolution of the issue.
“We bring to your notice that the ongoing strike by oil transporters, which has resulted in a significant disruption in operations and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” the OCAC stated in a letter to Director General Oil, Petroleum Division.
It said that the strike has severely affected the loading of tank lorries at key terminals and depots in Karachi, where most of the country’s oil imports are handled.
“The loading of tank lorries has been severely affected due to the ongoing strike by the oil transporters and their unions at Port Qasim, Korangi & Keamari Terminal and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has reported issues at these depots Jaglot and Sihala Depot, which is further exacerbating the supply chain disruptions in the northern area of Pakistan.”
The OCAC sought the immediate intervention of the government to ensure the uninterrupted loading of tank lorries at the depots to maintain a consistent and reliable supply of petroleum products to all regions and avoid any adverse consequences of shortages in the country.