Imran Khan sacks SSGC and SNGPL heads on disaster

Imran Khan directed concerned authorities to resolve the issue within a week

Petroleum Division Secretary had held the managing directors of
companies responsible for gas crisis; PM takes this decision
after receiving report of the committee formed to probe the issue

Major beneficiary of recent crisis was oil mafia which succeeded
in promoting use of imported furnace oil in power plants against
merit order instead of using available locally produced furnace oil

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Putting responsibility of the acute gas shortage in the country on heads of the gas utilities companies, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday sacked managing directors of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL).

The decision was confirmed by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who spoke out on Twitter, saying that in light of the crippling gas shortage being faced by the public, the country’s premier had constituted a committee to probe the issue.

Chaudhry added that in view of the inquiry committee’s report, Premier Imran decided to remove the heads of the country’s gas utilities companies.

PM Imran had received the report on the gas crisis in a cabinet committee on energy meeting on Tuesday.

Earlier, the petroleum division secretary had held the managing directors of the two companies responsible for the gas crisis.

The Petroleum Division secretary, in his report sent to Prime Minister Imran, had said that the management of Sui gas companies was responsible for the gas crisis.

The government had initiated an inquiry into the conduct of the heads of these gas companies, believing they had concealed facts about the operation of gas compressors.

The prime minister had earlier rejected a fact-finding report on the gas crisis submitted by a committee headed by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Chairman Uzma Adil and directed the Petroleum Division secretary to reinitiate investigation in a bid to identify the officials and lobbies responsible for the gas crisis.

The PM had set the deadline of December 28, 2018 for submitting the report.

Earlier, Minister for Petroleum Division Ghulam Sarwar Khan had held managing directors of the two gas utilities responsible for the gas crisis, following which the prime minister constituted the fact-finding committee.

In his report sent to the premier, the petroleum secretary also raised the issue of lack of coordination among energy companies, which made the entire energy chain dysfunctional.

Officials suggested that the major beneficiary of the recent gas crisis was the oil mafia which succeeded in promoting the consumption of imported furnace oil in power plants in violation of the merit order.

In the meantime, the stock of furnace oil produced in the country, where 10,000 tons is churned out daily, exceeded 500,000 tons.

However, domestic refineries had a limited storage capacity, which forced them to reduce production of petroleum products by buying less crude oil. This, in turn, forced gas exploration companies to bring down oil and gas production from their fields, resulting in reduction of gas supply to the gas utilities.

According to officials, the power sector was also responsible for the gas crisis as it did not purchase locally produced gas and oil, which plagued the entire energy chain.

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