PSO sends back ship carrying poor quality petrol

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has refused to accept petrol supplies from a United Arab Emirates-based company because of poor quality, which may lead to delay in oil imports and spark fears of shortage.

“A vessel of oil supplier Emirate National Oil Company (Enoc) carrying 50,000 tons of petrol has been sent back by PSO,” an official told The Express Tribune.

The vessel had reached Pakistan on Monday, but was asked to go back to the UAE for quality correction. This will cause a gap of 50,000 tons for few days in the supply and demand of petrol as the ship will take at least 10 days for the journey and correction.

It has been learnt that Enoc’s local agent is Muhammad Puri, son of Pakistani oil magnate Irfan Puri who was arrested in Dubai last year by the Interpol over a deal involving $60 million. Irfan was apprehended in response to a complaint of Dubai-based oil supplier Lancor Trading that claimed that cheques it received from Irfan had bounced.

Irfan had also faced cases in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for supplying low quality oil to power producing plants. At that time, PSO had also blacklisted him.

PSO Managing Director Sheikh Imranul Haque acknowledged that Enoc’s local agent was Muhammad Puri.

Talking about petrol stocks, he said, “We have adequate quantity and the next ship is due to arrive around April 10-12 followed by another on April 20-22 and a third vessel on April 23-25.” The oil vessel rejected should not create any supply issues, Haque remarked.

Referring to Enoc’s local agent, a PSO spokesperson said it was the supplier’s choice to hire anyone as its agent. “We work with the supplier and Enoc is the supplier and not Irfan Puri,” she said, insisting there would be no gap in supply and demand and PSO had stocks of petrol for the next two weeks.

“Other than the ship that was sent back, two more vessels are scheduled to arrive shortly at the Pakistani port,” she said, adding the rejected vessel would be replaced with another cargo if it failed the second test.

The spokesperson pointed out that PSO brought the petrol consignment on a cost and freight (c&f) basis, therefore the company did not suffer any financial loss. “It was a normal tender that was awarded to the lowest bidder,” she said.

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