Indian Oil Corp chairman Sanjiv Singh said India has enough stock of cooking gas, diesel and petrol that could last beyond the lockdown period of three weeks
India’s largest refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has assured customers that there is no shortage of petrol, diesel and cooking gas (LPG) in the country due to the current lockdown and hence they shouldn’t resort to panic buying. According to a PTI report, IOC chairman Sanjiv Singh said India has enough stock of cooking gas, diesel and petrol that could last beyond the lockdown period of three weeks as all plants and supply locations are fully operational. Singh said that for April and beyond the company has “mapped demand for all fuel” while the “refineries (are) operating at levels enough to meet all of the demand.” Moreover, “LPG distributorships and petrol pumps are functioning normally,” he said.
Singh’s assurance comes amid the impact on fuel demand due to the Coronavirus lockdown that left trains, flights, and almost every vehicular movement suspended. While the demand for petrol declined by 8 per cent in March and 19 per cent for diesel, the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) saw demand falling by 20 per cent, according to Singh. In contrast, the consumption for LPG “continues to grow,” he said adding refill demand grew over 200 per cent as the lockdown was announced.
The jump in LPG refill was caused due to the panic booking by customers as in the absence of the exhausting existing ones, many could not take deliveries of new cylinders, Singh said. Customers with double cylinder connections ordered for refills without exhausting even one cylinder, he added. This panic booking of services said Singh, “puts unnecessary strain on the system as the requirement is immediately transmitted to bottling locations which make additional refills, transport it to bulk location and onward to the distributor.” Refinery run-rates have been lowered by 25-30 per cent because of decline in demand for petrol, diesel etc, Singh said. Lowered run rates means refineries would produce less 30 per cent less of petrol, diesel, ATF, naphtha and LPG.