Long queues at petrol stations were seen in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province due to reduced supplies from oil companies. The reduction in supply is believed to be caused by delays in the issuance of letters of credit by private banks for imports. Many petrol pumps in the area were closed, causing long wait times for drivers. The closure of petrol pumps was particularly severe in the Mansehra district, where petrol shortages were reported.
Additionally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CNG administration recently closed all CNG stations in the provincial capital for a month to ensure the supply of natural gas to domestic consumers. This closure has led to an increase in demand for petrol as many vehicles previously used compressed gas.
The chairman of the Sarhad Petroleum and Cartage Dealers Association, Abdul Majid, stated that many companies are struggling to import petroleum products due to delays in letters of credit by banks. The gas crisis in Pakistan is expected to worsen in February, as ENI, a Liquefied Natural Gas trading company in Pakistan, has backed out of an LNG cargo scheduled to arrive on February 6-7, 2023.
Pakistan’s Energy Ministry officials are worried about this development, as the country is already facing a gas crisis. In many areas of the city, gas has become a rare commodity even during cooking times. Despite the government’s promise to supply gas to domestic consumers for cooking during certain hours, the reality on the ground is quite different.