Minister hints possibility of Rs 5 reduction in POL prices

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday hinted at the possibility of reduction of Rs 5 in petroleum products’ prices for next month.

“As per my personal assessment it (price) can be more or less Rs 5, and it is not final at all,” he said.

However, a summary was with Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) that would finally determine the prices in its monthly-revision exercise, he said while replying to a query of National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources.

The committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk and attended among others by MNAs Malik Ihtebar Khan, Muhammad Khokhar, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Muhammad Ishaq Khan, Nawab Ali Wasan, Roshan Din Junujo, Nasir Khan Khattak and Abdul Waseem, besides senior officials of the ministry and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).

Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan was at the top among oil importing countries in reducing prices of the petroleum products after the decrease in per barrel rate in international market.

Giving a brief comparison, Abbasi said “petrol price in Pakistan is Rs 76 as compared to 96 and 125 of India and Bangladesh respectively.”

He said the government reduced Rs 40 per liter since the downward trend in world market and its maximum benefit was being passed on to the common man.

The minister said the country was facing severe shortage of gas especially in the winter season and the government was bridging the ever-increasing gap between demand and supply of the commodity through load-management in Punjab. While, there was no gas curtailment in the country except Punjab, he added.

Managing Director OGDCL Zahid Mir briefed the committee on number of rigs owned by the company and their performance in terms of exploration and production of oil and gas.

Presently, he said, the company had seven own rigs and it was not in favour of buying more as per international practice of getting the job done from contractor rigs, citing increased expenses of their maintenance.

He said OGDCL’s rigs had the capacity to drill in 2,500 to 5,500 meters deep and usually they were deployed in sensitive areas where contractors were not allowed to operate.

In a note of resentment, the committee expressed displeasure that footage of the standing committees’ meetings were not timely provided to private television channels by official media.

Source: APP