Petroleum minister hints Rs5 reduction in fuel prices


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday hinted at the possibility of Rs5 reduction in prices of petroleum products for the next month.

“According to my assessment it (price) can be more or less Rs 5, it is not final yet,” he said.

However, a summary was with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) that would finally determine the prices in its monthly-revision exercise, Abbasi 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 by member lawmakers, besides senior officials of the ministry and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).

Giving a brief comparison with fuel prices in neighbouring countries, Abbasi said “petrol price in Pakistan is Rs76 as compared to 96 and 125 in India and Bangladesh respectively”.

He said the government has reduced Rs40 per liter since the downward trend started in world market, and its maximum benefit was passed on to the common man.

The petroleum 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.

OGDCL Managing Director 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.

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