The IES said stocks of the two main petroleum products consumed in the country “have fallen short of the mandatory strategic level of six weeks."
Richmond Rockson, Principal Research Analyst at the Petroleum Unit of IES, has blamed this on “the unanticipated shut-down of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and port congestion facing the oil companies, which is compelling them to postpone their import and export programmes amid acute discharge and loading constraints.”
A statement from IESS has indicated that as a result, stocks of the two main petroleum products consumed in the country “have fallen short of the mandatory strategic level of six weeks, at a time when economic activities have picked up across the country after the general election and Christmas festivities”.
At the close of business on February 13, “the country’s stock of gasoline and gasoil at both the Tema Oil Refinery and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) installations across the country was 86,000 metric tonnes.”
“Also, the stocks held in-tank at Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDC’s) facilities in Tema stood at 24,750 metric tonnes. A year ago, the combined stock of these fuel stood at 451,200 metric tonnes; a little above the mandatory 6- weeks requirement,” a statement from the IES said.
It said that the current stock of gasoline and gasoil combined can meet “just 13 days of fuel supply,” adding that “the last time the country came close to this situation was in June 2014 and this actually resulted in fuel shortages in the country”.
IES further believes that “the current situation was anticipated when the explosion of the furnace occurred at TOR few weeks ago” adding: “That was the moment when the government and relevant agencies should have taken the necessary steps to forestall any such incident, especially when it was followed up with a disruption of the Conventional Buoy Mooring (CBM) facility in Tema”.
“If the fuel discharge and loading constraints, coupled with the shut-down of the refinery, persist, the situation will create fuel shortage across the country within the next few weeks,” IES warned.
The Institute has, therefore called on the quarters concerned in ensuring fuel security to immediately increase fuel supplies for strategic reserves in order to avoid the imminent shortage facing the country.