No relief: December cut in oil prices ruled out

November 28, 2013 6:45 PM

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Petrol­eum minist­ry critic­ises role of OGRA.

ISLAMABAD: Despite the decline in international oil prices, there is going to be no cut in the month of December, said Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi yesterday.

While addressing a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural resources chaired by Bilal Ahmad Varik, Abbasi also criticised the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

He said that the mandate of the regulator was to safeguard consumer interest and to work as a regulatory body as he expressed ‘concerns’ regarding the way Ogra was functioning.

Meanwhile, talking about the price fluctuation, the minister said it was going to remain stable.

On another note, Abbasi said that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project had been delayed due to political transition in the two countries. “However, it is back on track once again,” said Abbasi. “The EPC contractor and financer were the key issues in this project and these would be settled in the near future.”

Abbasi said the ministry was also taking steps to reduce gas theft in the country.

“Gas stations are involved in

theft and just one percent theft amounts to Rs3.2 billion which is a huge loss.”

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Managing Director Arif Hameed informed the panel that Ogra has not allowed any funds for new gas development schemes this year. “This is why work on new development schemes has been zero.

“In addition, 438 cases of gas theft have happened due to commercial connections, domestic theft cases have been 1745, while 119 have been reported from the industrial sector.”

Talking about the gas shortage in the country, the petroleum minister said that currently gas production in the country was at 4 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD), while demand was about 6 BCFD.

FIRs have been registered against 60 CNG stations for their involvement in illegal activities.

Earlier, Petroleum and Natural Resources Federal Secretary Abid Saeed gave a detailed briefing regarding the ministry and its attached departments.

Source: tribune.com.pk

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