ISLAMABAD - As per a strategy to bring down the unaccounted for gas ratio (UFG), the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Company Limited (SNGPL) will remove service lines of those consumers whose gas connections are neither intact anymore nor enrolled in the monthly billing system due to certain reasons.

 “Modalities of the company’s future plan in this regard are being finalized to prevent the line losses,” official sources told APP.

Elaborating the future plan and efforts to control the UFG, the sources said all industrial consumers were examined once every month, while inspection of commercial and special domestic connections was carried out after three months.

Removal of the service lines and the regular inspection are part of the strategy to deter increasing trend of gas theft, particularly installation of illegal connections and networks, they added.

Answering a question, the sources said as per the revised formula, the UFG pertaining to year 2017-18 was 10.93 percent (49,882 mmcf – million cubic feet gas). The sources clarified that the UFG of company, excluding Peshawar and Mardan regions was 7.69 percent. However, the figures with regard to the last fiscal year were yet to be finalized through determination of final revenue requirement by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

They said the company had devised an effective strategy to minimize the UFG losses across its network in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

In line with the international practices, the UFG is calculated with the difference between the metered gas volume injected into the transmission and distribution network - Point of Dispatch (POD) and the metered gas delivered to the end consumers at Consumer Meter Station (CMS) during a financial year.

The sources said gas theft, law and order affected areas, minimum billing, leakages, measuring errors and shift of bulk sales to retail sector were among the major UFG contributing factors.

The UFG, they said, being one of the most critical elements in the gas sector, played a vital role in the profitability of the gas transmission and distribution companies.

They said it was important for all stakeholders to understand the term `UFG’ and the reasons behind it.

In reply to another question, the sources said the government and gas utility companies were taking necessary steps to prevent gas losses. They said the government had promulgated the Gas (Theft Control & Recovery) Ordinance, 2016 and involved law enforcement agencies to prevent gas theft.

Federal Investigation Teams have been engaged with gas utility companies for carrying out raids against gas thieves. The gas companies are creating awareness among the general public through newspapers about wastage of the commodity besides warning the pilferers. The sources said almost all Industrial customers had been ‘Cyber Locked’ by restricting unauthorized access to the Customer Meter Stations and allowing entry to authorized personnel only.

Electronic Volume Correctors have been installed at almost all the industries for strict check and balance on gas consumption and abnormalities.

They said pre and post-inspection analysis of customers were carried out regularly, while defected, suspected and tampered meters were instantly replaced regularly.