Taking action: Sui Northern takes steps to end gas theft

More gas connections can be provided once theft ends.

APP July 15, 2013
Rs55.9b is the amount of investment pledged by the two gas utility companies to develop transmission and distribution projects. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) has taken measures to solve gas theft cases and detect gas theft in commercial outlets of Islamabad.

Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhary, general manager of SNGPL, Islamabad Region said effective measures were under way to successfully carry forward the drive against gas theft without any discrimination, with special teams that conduct daily surprise raids on the properties of the suspected consumers.

He also added that eight large commercial outlets were stealing gas for large scale commercial production, contributing to the huge financial loss to the national exchequer.

An SNGPL official has said the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources has ordered all previous years’ applications for gas connections to be cleared by December 2013.

The official added that Chaudhry was strictly following guidelines set by the minister to end gas theft so that more gas connections can be provided to the domestic and commercial sector in order to streamline the entire process.  The move comes at a time when domestic consumers have also called for speeding up the process of gas connections.

In addition to these steps, two gas utilities companies have planned to invest Rs17.4 billion on Transmission Projects, Rs27.3 billion on distribution projects and Rs11.2 billion on other projects, bringing the total investment of Rs55.9 billion during the fiscal year 2013-14.

Even though Pakistan has a total resource potential of 282 trillion cubic feet of gas with the production of almost 4 billion cubic feet per day, during 2012 total production of natural gas remained at 1,559 billion cubic feet. Still, that figure shows a growth of 6% when compared to 2011.

Though production is increasing, the country is witnessing a gas shortage due to the low growth in its supplies. During 2013 gas supplies remained 1.1 trillion cubic feet as compared to 1.2 trillion cubic feet in 2012, indicating a negative growth of 2.2 %.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.

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