Dec 04 -
Shell, PSO, Caltex to import diesel
Pakistan's government plans to stop managing the
country's diesel imports from the second quarter of 2001 as part of
the planned deregulation of the oil sector, an official at the
petroleum ministry said on Tuesday.
The official said diesel imports would be handled
instead by state-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shell Pakistan and
"PSO will handle diesel term imports, while
Shell and Caltex will take care of spot tenders," the official
Until now, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Resources has been responsible for all Pakistan's imports of diesel,
which amount to 5.6 million tonnes a year, to meet domestic demand of
Kuwait supplies 75 per cent of the volumes through
a yearly tender. The rest is supplied through quarterly import tenders
issued by the ministry.
The ministry has recently awarded a tender to buy
300,000 tonnes of diesel from Saudi trader Bakri for delivery in the
first quarter of 2001.
"We expect that this will be the last tender
we (the ministry) issue," said the official.
He said from the second quarter, Shell and Caltex
— Pakistan's second and third largest marketing oil firms
respectively — will issue import tenders.
PSO, the largest oil marketer, will handle the
Kuwaiti term diesel import contract.
State media in August said Petroleum Minister Usman
Aminuddin wanted diesel imports deregulated by December.
Gas sales accord signed
Pakistan on Saturday signed gas sales accord called
"Bhit Joint Venture", for purchasing gas from Bhit field
discovered in '97.
According to estimates, the field has gas reserves
of about one trillion cubic feet (TCF) and the venture consists of
Lasmo Oil with 40%; Kirthar Pakistan BV (a subsidiary of Premier
Shell), 40% share and OGDC 20%.
Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources, M.
Abdullah Yusuf, chief executive LASMO, Joe Darby, managing director,
Sui Southern Gas, Mukhtar Ahmed, Oil and Gas Development Co, Najam K.
Hyder, and Peter Cockeraft of Kirthar Pakistan, BV signed the
The field was declared commercially viable in
September '99. With the signing of the accord, LASMO shall commence
the full-scale development of the field. The estimated investment to
first phase is $260m.
Date for wheat tender extended
Pakistan's state commodity trading body on Thursday
said it had extended the date for a wheat export tender to December 7.
An official of state-run Trading Corporation of
Pakistan (TCP) told Reuters the date was extended from November 30,
because of encouraging interest from African and Middle Eastern
The TCP issued the tender in October for sale of
500,000 tonnes to international markets, after the country produced a
record crop of 22 million tonnes in the last season. Originally the
tender was to close on November 16, but it has been extended twice.
The government estimates the country has a surplus
of 1.2 million tonnes. The official said the government has asked the
TCP to export one million tonnes of wheat — half of which will be
covered by the tender.
Knitwear exports fall
Knitwear exports during Sept-Oct period registered
steep fall of up to 20 per cent over the preceding two months
The representative body of knitwear exporters,
Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA), while expressing
its concern over the dwindling exports has urged the government to
immediately remove all hurdles confronting export trade.
The PHMA is particularly critical of SRO 417, which
it claims to be highly damaging for export trade. The new sales tax
refund rules under SRO 417, are difficult to be met and it has almost
squeezed exporters' fund as no refund claims have been paid since
EPB chief for boosting exports
Chairman Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Tariq Ikram
has underlined the need for enhancing the share of non-traditional
products in the national export to meet the target of $10 billion.
The EPB chief said under the new export policy,
steps were being taken to increase the share of non-traditional items,
which accounted for 47pc in the country's total exports.
EPB for widening export scope
Chairman Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Tariq Ikram
has asked exporters to explore other than traditional markets of
Europe and North America.
He emphasized upon a need to diversify exports by
exploring non-traditional markets of Africa and Middle East as well as
central Asian states.
The fashion show organized by Pak Denim was largely
attended by local and foreign buyers who were impressed with the
quality and designs of denim wears.
Motor spirit, diesel import deregulation
Import of motor spirit and diesel will be
deregulated by the end of March next year, completing the first phase
of liberalization of petroleum sector, sources said.
The deregulation of the import of diesel by the end
of December is not possible but the government has started
preparations and allowed Pakistan State Oil to start importing diesel
According to official sources out of a total annual
demand of 7.5 million tons of diesel, 2.5 million will be met from the
local sources and the remaining will be imported by the private
The freight pool system, however, will continue
till 2002, under which the POL products will be provided on equal
rates all over the country.
The oil market companies, (OMC) will decide at
their own whether to continue with the freight pool system.
The economic coordination committee of the cabinet
approved on Monday the export of cement, rice, pharmaceuticals, glass
sheets, G.I. pipes and hardware items to Afghanistan and Central Asian
Republics against irrevocable LCs in foreign currency.