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Monday, November 27, 2023

Hammad Azhar slams Dawn for publishing fake news

Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar called out Pakistan's leading news publication Dawn for publishing fake news claiming that the state-run oil company PSO had bought LNG at the second-highest ever price of $20 per million British thermal units (MMBTU).

Hammad Azhar went to Twitter to shoot down a claim by Pakistan’s leading news agency Dawn which claimed that Pakistan State Oil has purchased LNG at the most expensive rate of $20 per million British thermal units (MMBTU).

Pakistan’s Energy Minister called Dawn out for publishing this “fake news”.

Dawn published this news early on Tuesday, claiming that the state-run oil company had bought the Liquified Natural Gas at the second-highest rate globally during the summer season.

The media agency claimed that this was the reason for the uptick of the average sale price for LNG by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

The article said that the procurement agencies Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) and PSO have lately stopped publishing their procurement rates, and even said that the government has not conceded this high price of $20.05 per unit cargo, but the notification for increased sale price of LNG at $13.61 per MMBTU for August by OGRA is indicative of the fact that the PSO has purchased around 3.2 million units of LNG at the precise rate of 27.8675pc of Brent or $20.0555 per unit..

It seems that the author used an increase in the average price of cargos up from $9.62 (for the five cargos from Qatar) to $11.42 per unit for the six cargos, to derive the price of the sixth cargo, which it claims is responsible for such a high deviation from the previous average.

The article mentioned, “The notification suggests that PSO’s average price of five other cargos from Qatar under a long-term contract was about $9.62 per unit at the rate of 13.37pc of Brent, but the most expensive 6th cargo jacked up its average DES (delivered ex-ship) price at $11.42 per unit.”

Read More: Punjab govt to sue Dawn for defaming Chief Minister Usman Buzdar

Dawn reported that the information from its source saying that the $20.05 per unit LNG purchase in the summer season was the second-highest in the world after about $21 per unit procurement by South Korea in 2007-08.

However, according to the minister, all this information by Dawn is fake news.

Even PSO took to Twitter to outrightly refute Dawn’s claims.

The State Oil company said, “PSO has not awarded any cargo at $20.055. The bid received against the required delivery of August 29, and 30, 2021 was high, resulting in a price which was not acceptable to PSO and the tender was scrapped on July 27, 2021.”

It added, “PSO has retendered for the same delivery period on July 29, 2021.”

The company took the moment to also mention, “PSO has entered into a new long term supply contract with Qatar Petroleum (QP), supplies against which will start in January 2022 and this will further reduce the basket price of LNG being imported in the country.”