Petroleum Division removes DGPC on NAB findings

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division has removed Director General Petroleum Concession (DGPC) Imran Ahmed from his post following the initiation of an inquiry against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

According to sources, Ahmed is currently involved in a $50-million worth scam; he had allegedly caused a massive loss to the national exchequer by deliberately delaying the injection of 30 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas of Badin IV South Gas Fields into the country’s gas transmission system.

Owing to the eight-month delay in the injection of 30MMCFD gas into national transmission system, expensive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was imported at $10 to meet gas demand. The cost of local gas was $4 per MMBTU during the said period.

Talking to this scribe, Petroleum Division spokesman Sajid Mehmood Qazi confirmed the removal of Imran Ahmed and informed that the charge has now been given to Joint Secretary Saira Najeeb (BS-20).

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On 19 March 2020, NAB had written a letter the DGPC, asking him to submit till 6th April a documentary evidence to prove his innocence under Section 19 and 27 of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

In addition, NAB had also demanded the provision of verified copies related to the recommendations of Petroeum Secretary Mian Asad Hayauddin, DGPC Imran Ahmed, former consultant Ishaq Saki and other officials regarding gas production from Badin IV South Gas Fields.

Sources alleged that the DGPC was involved in facilitating LNG import at the cost of national exchequer.

“After deduction of all taxes, the price of local gas usually stands at $4/MMBTU, while the government has been importing expensive LNG and has paid around $50 million from its foreign reserves for this purpose,” an official privy to this development informed.

It is relevant to note that that Badin IV South Gas Fields were ready to produce and inject 30 MMCFD of high-quality gas into the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited system in June 2019, while IPR International Energy Group had inspected the gas field and declared the field to be marginal in nature and recommended that the price should be $6.3/MMBTU in accordance with the Gas Pricing Criteria and Guidelines, 2013. However, DGPC had raised objections to its report and asked the firm to inspect the field once again.

The results were the same this time as well. However, the 30mmcfd high-quality was injected into the SSGC distribution system in February 2020 without fixing the gas price for the Badin IV South Gas Fields in the name of “national interest”.

Meanwhile, Petroleum Division has also decided to repatriate the officers of companies working on attachment basis in the Directorate General (Oil, Gas, PC, LGs, & SP) to their parent departments/organizations within three months.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]
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