Panic buying causes fuel shortage in Karachi

KARACHI: Several fuel stations were closed in Karachi on Wednesday.

Longqueues of motorists were seen at fuel stations in the city on Wednesday after the reports that the oil marketing companies (OMCs) closed their storage and supply terminals at Kemari as precaution against the mysterious gas leak engulfed port and adjacent areas.

All the OMCs had shut down their Kemari terminals on Tuesday after their workers and tanker drivers fell sick.

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Shell kept their terminals closed on Wednesday disturbing the fuel supply to the fuel stations.

The reports of fuel supply suspension ignited panic buying i.e. increased demand.

However, the OMCs continued supply from their other storage facilities located close to the city such as Port Qasim, Zulfiqarabad and Hub.

Petroleum Dealers Association said that the fuel terminals were closed Tuesday and supply remained suspended for around 24 hours. “Although, the supply was started on Wednesday evening, but the panic buying resulted in increased demand. There is no fuel shortage but some station owners closed their outlets as the motorists were getting violent.”

Shoib Ashraf of Fuel Tankers Association said the terminals at Kemari were closed but the fuel supply continued from Zulfiqarabad and Port Qasim. “Supply operation was restored in the evening and fuel stations’ demand was met.”

PSO spokesperson said there had been no impact of the temporary closure on supply of petroleum products within Karachi, and in up country locations. “PSO has sufficient stock available, with back-up supply arrangements already in place to ensure an uninterrupted supply of the petroleum products.”

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