Gas shortfall: PM orders immediate inquiry against top management of SNGPL, SSGC


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the initiation of an immediate inquiry against the managing directors (MDs) of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) for their failure in meeting the demand of gas of the consumers, and has sought an inquiry report within next 72 hours.

Chairing a high-level meeting to diffuse the situation that erupted after the issue of gas shortfall in the country, PM Khan has ordered an inquiry against the two MDs of both state-owned gas companies following a briefing by the petroleum minister. The PM, however, has instructed to strengthen the planning mechanism in this regard so that such situations never resurface again.

“Neither the SNGPL had informed about the actual demand of gas for the month of December nor the SSGCL had told about faults in the compressors,” said Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar while briefing the meeting on the prevalent gas crisis.

The meeting was informed that the gas consumers of Karachi were facing the shortage due to reduced production of domestic gas, while shortage of gas in north was due to faults in gas compressors at Nawab Shah and Saran.

Sharing the measures taken so far to control with gas crisis, the PM was informed that eight scheduled cargos of LNG would arrive in the country soon while efforts to increase domestic gas production are also underway.

It was further informed that the shortage won’t affect domestic consumers, as special measure had been taken in this regard. However, CNG, some industrial units and captive power plants are facing the shortage.

Meanwhile, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), the prime minister has ordered the constitution of a fact-finding committee following the presentation on winter load management by the petroleum minister.

The committee would be headed by Oil and Gas Development Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Chairperson Uzma Adil Khan while other members would include Privatisation Commission Director General Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG (Gas) Shahid Yousaf and DG (LG) Imran Ahmed.

The notification stated that the committee may call expert witness to assist in its proceedings. The allegations against the SNGPL and SSGC managing directors included negligence in reporting of facts to the ministry and incompetence in dealing with operational issues, withholding of information from the government, and over systematic governance failure.