ISLAMABAD - Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Amjad Latif has said that the company is facing 95 percent gas losses in tehsil Lachi and districts Karak and Hangu of the Khyber Pakhtunkwa.

"The locals of all these localities have obtained illegal gas connections, mostly through direct taps and unconventional joining methods, which is not only a loss to the national exchequer in the shape of gas theft, but also in the form of gas wastage through leakages," he told APP.  He said SNGPL is making all-out efforts to curb the losses in oil and gas producing areas with the help of police and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Whenever, the company launched a campaign for disconnection and removal of this illegal network with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, the locals sealed the plants of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) and MOL, and blocked the Indus highway, he added.

The MD said the Khyber Pakhtunkwa chief minister had categorically mentioned in his letter written to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) chairman that "the gas losses in these areas are not due to the inefficiency of SNGPL, but due to the prevailing law and order situation of those areas which can't be controlled even through administrative measures of the provincial government."

Answering a question, he said SNGPL teams had put their lives at risk to disconnect illegal gas connections of industries, mostly Plaster of Paris, which got connections from the company's network and extended to the barren terrain through plastic pipes for kilometers. Approximately, he said, the company removed 60 illegal industrial connections and lodged 52 FIRs, besides it removed 169 illegal commercial connections and registered 155 FIRs against pilferers.

Currently, the MD said, a project had been planned to provide gas in surrounding villages of Mardan Khel well and villages within five kilometres radius of Meramazi-II and Noshpa Rig No 4, besides rehabilitating damaged pipeline network in Gurguri village. He said the KP government had so far deposited only Rs114.066 million under the project, but SNGPL could not recommend the project to the Federal Cabinet's special committee for approval until the complete funds were not provided by the federal or provincial government.

However, Amjad Latif said, keeping in view the provincial government's urgency, the company had recommended execution of a part of the project for provision of gas to villages within five kilometres radius of gas-producing well Mardan Khel.

Gas connection process to industry be gear-up: PIAF

 Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has welcomed the recommendation of National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources for enhancement of new domestic gas connections up to one million per year, besides speeding up process of new industrial gas connections which is must for the revival of the industry.

PIAF Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice Chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and Vice Chairman Khawaja Shahzeb Akram said here on Sunday that the committee had also recommended enhancement of domestic connections to new localities by 100 connections. The committee gave these recommendations in the wake of huge number of pendency with the gas distribution companies.

They said that Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) had allowed 0.5 million new domestic gas connections to the gas distribution companies per year however, due to huge number of pendency, the companies were unable to meet the demand. Irfan said that following the arrival of Re-gasified Liquid Natural Gas from Qatar last year, the SNGPL announced to entertain applications for new gas connections to the industrial consumers.

Moreover, the SNGPL had also initiated the process of approving new gas supply connections to industrial consumers, but it was not implemented properly, he maintained. PIAF office-bearers said that hundreds of industrial consumers had applied for new industrial connections and applications must be processed without delay. The purpose was to avail the RLNG at the earliest to cut the production cost, which was proving a major hurdle in competing internationally, they added.