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No fuel shortage looming; we have enough – NPA allays fears

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has allayed fears of looming fuel shortage in the country.

Bloomberg reported last week that Ghana faces a looming fuel shortage as the central bank rations dollars after oil prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The monthly fuel import bill for the West African nation jumped to $450 million in May, from $250 million in January, according to two people with knowledge of the matter

But speaking to the media in Koforidua on the sidelines of a day workshop for journalists in Eastern Region, the Head of Quality Assurance at NPA Saeed Kutia Ubeidalah assured that there are enough stock in the country. He however said the authority has made some interventions including waver some of its arrangements for ships to be able to come in with the more stock products while reviewing its schedule of products into the country to stock areas with low stock.

“I can allay the fears of many. In fact from where we sit ,yes yesterday night because of that we have to waver some of our arrangements for ships to be able to come in with the more low stock products so that we allay this fears. So NPA is reviewing its schedule of products into the country so that where we have low stock then that is shore up so I am sure that we are currently working to eliminate that fear. Currently, there are enough stock …we are currently trying to avert that situation from happening,” Kutia Ubeidalah assured.

He is also hopeful that operationalization of the defunct Tema Oil Refinery will also ensure continues supply.

“Refinery ensures continuous supply .Also you will agree that you will need less dollars for crude oil compared to finished products because when you buy finished product you are paying for the Refinery in dollars as well but when you refine it here the aspect of the refining prices you will pay in cedis so it reduce you demand for forex but on the supply angle for some of us the key point is the availability of the product because for some of us in the absence of TOR , products we were not Hitherto importing like residual fuel oil we import them and also pay in forex so that is how the absence of TOR means”.

Nonetheless, Saeed Kutia Ubeidalah, said NPA is installing automatic Tank Gauges into underground storage tanks of the over 4000 retail outlets in the country to provide real time information about quantity of fuel available at a given time.

“Currently the NPA is installing what we call the Automatic Tank Gauges into the underground storage tanks of retail outlets which will let us to determine availability of fuel sitting from our office. So some of these technologies have helped us to sit and determine which stations has how much quantities of fuel that’s why we could confidently tell you that certain products or currently we do not have shortage of any of those products because we are able to compute the figures available,” he said.

However, Abass Ibrahim Tasunti, who is the Head of Economic Regulation said the coming onboard of Tema Oil Refinery refining crude for the market will not necessarily lead to price reduction since Ghana gets only 18% of about 150,000 barrels of crude oil being produced in the country per day as against daily consumption rate of about 96,000 barrels per day which implies government will continue to import over 80% of its crude oil.

“About 18% from the contract we’ve seen is what government gets from the crude oil we produce in the country, and base on our 2021 data .Ghana produces as a whole about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 18% of that translate to about 27,000 barrels per day , but as a country all our petroleum products consumption is about 96,000 barrel per day so if Ghana is getting about 27,000 barrels as it share of crude oil produce in the country , and you consume over 96,000 barrels per day you can see that there is a wide gap and therefore even if government is to decide to give all it crude oil for free and to translate into pricing it will not be able to make up for any significant impact on our price”.

The NPA taunted its efforts in reducing fuel adulteration and dilution to averagely 2.91% from 6.20% from 2016 continue to deploy measures including fuel marking and quality verification to nip the menace in the bud.

The Authority is however urging consumers to swiftly report suspected cases of adulteration and dilution to enable it impose severe sanctions to outlets found culpable deter others.

Source : Starrfm.

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