ISLAMABAD -  Both the gas utility companies, SNGPL and SSGCL, are charging only 63 to 70 per cent of gas consumers through meter reading while the remaining consumers are being charged without meter reading or minimum billing.

Sui Southern Gas losses have been increased while the losses of SNGPL have decreased during the period under study, the Ogra’s consultant KMPG Taseer Hadi & Co observed. The firm KPMG, hired by Ogra for carrying out a study to find the exact gas losses and determine a reasonable Unaccounted for Natural Gas (UFG) benchmarks for SSGCL and SNGPL, has submitted its second draft to the Ogra.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, through public notice, invited all stakeholders to furnish their comments/views on the draft report with a view to finalise the report. The first two sessions were conducted at Karachi and Lahore whereas third session has been conducted in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The consultant gave a detailed presentation on the study. The interveners raised numerous questions which were addressed accordingly.

The session was moderated by the Ogra registrar in the presence of Chairperson Uzma Adil Khan, Member Noorul Haque, and senior officials of Ogra.

UFG in fiscal year is the difference between gas available for sale and actual sales. According the definition, Unaccounted for Natural Gas (UFG) means, “in respect of financial year, the difference between the total volume of metered gas received by Gas Utility Companies during that financial year and the volume of natural gas metered as having been delivered by the licensees to their consumers excluding there from metered natural gas used for self consumption by the Gas Utility Companies for the purposes of their regulated activity; and such other quantity as may be allowed by the Authority for use by the licensees in the operation and maintenance of their regulated activity.”

In the third session, KPMG’s representative Rana Nadeem informed that the UFG losses of SNGPL is 13.5 per cent while of the SSGCL is 15 per cent. Only 63 to 70 pc of gas consumer, of the gas companies, are being charged through meter reading while the remaining consumers are being charged without meter reading or minimum billing.

SNGPL Managing Director said that in 2015, the company UFG was around 7.7 per cent far less then the consultant calculated 13.5 per cent. However Rana Nadeem said that they consider if SNGPL figures were on record they would definitely make it part of their final report.

In 2002, according to the report, the UFG was 7 per cent which reached to 15 per cent in the financial year 2015.

Unaccounted for Gas (UFG) is being one of the most critical element in the gas sector and it is therefore important for stakeholders to understand the term ‘UFG’ and the reasons contributing to it.

High UFG levels of the gas companies have been a major area of concern for the reason that it is wastage of a scarce resource and to a great extent is avoidable. Ogra has always urged the gas companies to control its UFG losses so that unnecessary burden may not be passed on to the consumers and the financial health of the companies should improve.