ISLAMABAD: The ban on new compressed natural gas licences will continue and expired licences will not be renewed.
Valid licences could be renewed till June 30, and nonoperational CNG licence will not be renewed after June 30. These decisions were taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in the first CNG board meeting chaired by Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources on Thursday.
The meeting deliberated upon the draft of the CNG Policy 2010 and other relevant issues of the CNG industry. The meeting was attended by representatives of CNG associations, gas utility companies, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP), explosives department and petroleum ministry. Qamar accepted several proposals of CNG associations and issued directives to the departments concerned to make these part of the new CNG policy.
The private sector got permission to import natural gas. Qamar recommended the continuation of the existing ban on new CNG licences for at least two years. However, he agreed that July 31, 2010 would be deemed as the cutoff date for provisional licences. “We cannot afford to keep adding more demand and should clamp down on it till the time we are able to mitigate the shortfall,” he added.
About testing of cylinders, Qamar asked the HDIP and Ogra to expedite the process of setting up testing facilities and urged the Ogra to start a public awareness campaign on retesting old cylinders. Secretary Petroleum Kamran Lashari constituted a working group, which will further discuss the decisions taken on Thursday and other pending issues and will come up with a report in two weeks.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 14th, 2010.