Furnace oil import to cost Pakistan extra $1.1 billion

ISLAMABAD — The import of furnace oil by Pakistan during 2006-07 will result in paying extra $1.1 billion mainly because of electricity shortage in the country and the burden will grow in the next few years.

By A Correspondent

Published: Thu 24 May 2007, 8:48 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:37 PM

A senior petroleum ministry official said the government had estimated furnace oil consumption at 650,000 tonnes for power generation but the electricity shortages have compelled to import an estimated 4.4 million tonnes, or about six times higher than the estimated. As such, the government had anticipated furnace oil imports at $235 million for the current fiscal year, which has now expected to go up to $1.335 billion, about five times higher foreign exchange payments.

But this higher burden was partially offset by significant reduction in the diesel, aviation fuel and crude oil imports. The diesel and crude oil imports cost the national exchequer $828 million lower than anticipated by the government.

As result, net loss in oil imports during the current year is expected to be about $270 million. The government had allocated a total of $7.23 billion for total oil imports for the current year, which has now been estimated at $7.5 billion.

The official said the government had projected total crude oil imports at 73.3 million tonnes for the current year at a cost of $4.545 billion but the overall imports are now updated to remain 17 per cent lower at 62.5 million tonnes at a cost of $3.87 billion, providing a saving of $674 million.

The official said the government had forecast import of four million tonnes of diesel for the current year but the actual consumption is expected at about 3.4 million tonnes. As a result, the diesel import bill will be just $2.3 billion against budgeted estimates of $2.45 billion, leaving a saving of about $150 million.

Informed sources said the furnace oil imports would cost even higher ($1.36 billion) than $1.335 billion this year mainly because of an expected 10 per cent increase international fuel prices. Pakistan's next year oil import bill has now been estimated to cross $8.8 billion next year mainly because of an expected 8.5 per cent increase in international prices.

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