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Status of domestic cooking gas supply  

No shortage of domestic cooking gas, say refiners

Our Bureau, Mumbai, Oct. 25 : from the pages of Hindu business line newspaper.

Public sector oil marketing companies have reiterated that there is adequate supply of LPG cylinders and that the shortage is being ‘artificially created' thanks to panic booking during festivals. “There is no shortage of domestic cooking gas in the country and temporary backlogs, largely due to logistic issues, will be wiped out by the month-end,” Mr Subir Roy Chaudhary, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, said here on Monday.

“We are confident that we will meet demand. However, we cannot cope with panic booking and it will be very difficult to maintain the distribution system,” he added. Demand during April-September increased by 10 per cent.

“We have increased supply to meet the demand which has increased by 15 per cent during the festive season. It may now come down to 11 per cent by the end of this month,” Mr Roy Chaudhary said.“We have got 12 crore customers and are covering 50 crore of the population. The LPG cylinders are normally delivered within 48 hours of booking,” he said.

Mr S. Sundareshan, Petroleum Secretary, had a review meeting with the chiefs of oil marketing companies in New Delhi to ensure constant LPG supply across the country. It was decided that the heads of IndianOil, HPCL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation would monitor the situation daily with regional offices checking the backlog. All the bottling plants, working on a single shift, are being converted to double shift and without weekly offs till this backlog is completely liquidated.

LPG losses

LPG losses for the three oil majors are at an average of Rs 180 per cylinder which works out to Rs 8,700 crore for this fiscal. With demand expected to increase, the companies are ramping up import facilities, Mr Mr Roy Chaudhary said. Mr B. Mukherjee, Director (Finance), said the total under-recoveries for HPCL in the first half totalled Rs 6,833 crore of which it has received Rs 2,278 crore from upstream companies and Rs 2,174 crore from the Centre as part-compensation.

“It is yet to be seen what the balance amount would be as the account books are still to be closed,” he said. The total fuel losses for the three oil majors in the first half of this fiscal are Rs 31,372 crore.

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