PM Imran suspends gas companies’ boards as shortfall worsens

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday suspended the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) board of directors in wake of the gas crisis that has paralyzed life across the country.

On Wednesday, the premier had ordered an investigation against the managing directors of the two gas companies.

The prime minister had also ordered the constitution of a fact-finding committee to conduct an inquiry against the managing directors. The report of the committee will be submitted in 72 hours. The committee is headed by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Chairperson Uzma Adil Khan and comprises Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, Shahid Yousaf and Imran Ahmed.

PM Imran had ordered an inquiry against the two MDs of both state-owned gas companies following a briefing by petroleum minister on the issue. The PM, however, had instructed to strengthen the planning for meeting the gas demand and supply and ensure no such situation resurfaces again in the future.

Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar while briefing the meeting about the gas crisis had put the responsibility on SNGPL and SSGCL.

Neither the SNGPL had informed about the actual demand of gas for December nor SSGCL informed about faults in the compressors, the petroleum minister said while briefing the meeting.

The meeting was also informed that at present SSGCL was getting 1,200MMCFD indigenous gas which was 1,280 MMCFD in December 2017. This shortfall of 80MMCFD was due to the natural depletion of indigenous gas reserves.

In addition to this, gas supplies from Kunner, Pasaki and Gambat fields have been reduced by 50 MMCFD, from November 22, 2018, as a consequence of curtailment due to condensate storage problem at the fields and refineries. Due to reduced production of domestic gas, gas consumers of Karachi faced gas shortage problems while a shortage of gas in the north was due to faults in the gas compressor at Nawab Shah and Saran.

With regard to measures taken to control gas crisis, the PM was informed that eight cargoes of LNG would arrive in the country on time and efforts to increase domestic gas productions are underway.

It was also informed that domestic consumers would not be affected as special measures had been taken but CNG, some industrial units and captive power plants are facing gas shortage.

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