COVID-19 outbreak: Govt bans import of crude oil, petroleum products
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – In wake of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has banned the import of crude oil and petroleum products from April. The Ministry of Energy has issued the advisory to all oil companies. According to the advisory, the government imposed restrictions on the import of petrol and crude oil starting April. The Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) directed to cancel the April’s import agreements. “It directed all oil marketing companies (OMCs) to lift petroleum products from local refineries as demand goes down in the wake of a countrywide lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus.” The directions in this regard were issued by the Petroleum Division in a letter to OCAC, urging the OMCs and refineries not to import petrol and crude oil from April onward. Meanwhile, three plants of Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) have already closed and only one plant is operational. Pak-Arab Refinery Company (Parco) is also shut for the past month. Meanwhile, National Refinery Limited (NRL) has temporarily shut down its operations and to this effect, NRL has communicated its decision to the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) as well. The closure of refineries have raised fears of significant damage to local oilfields. On the other hand, the government is also reviewing to closed the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar.