Event Title: Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad
Event Date: 2022-12-12
The meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum was held on 12th December 12, 2022 at Parliament House. Presided over by Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir; members present included Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Shamim Afridi, Senator Saifullah Abro and senior officers from Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), OGDCL and OGRA along with all concerned.
Matters that were discussed included GIDC amount outstanding against various sectors; progress on Jandran, Saruna and Jhal Magsi gas fields; Issue of oil theft from main pipeline of the country with special reference to Sindh and gas load shedding in Sindh.
Deliberating over outstanding Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Chairman Committee, Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir was of the view that amount Rs. 419 Billoin recoverable against various sectors to be paid to the government and are stalked at various stages such as Stay orders of the various High Courts despite the clear-cut ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Ministry must take the lead to diversify its approach and even engage renown private profession counselors in order to vacate Stay Orders. He also offered that we are also ready for legislation in this regards if and when required to expedite the recovery process. The Robust and focus efforts are needed by the ministry to clear the backlog of recoveries. Certain members of the Committee noted that the figures quoted were misleading and that in order to ensure that the consumers are not overcharged it was important that the matter is investigated thoroughly. The Committee was of the view that a break-up of all companies that have benefitted from the recoveries to be submitted for further probe. Clarification for alleged false figures would also be given in the next meeting.
Discussing progress on Jandran, Saruna and Jhal Magsi gas fields, The Chairman committee opined that that some 20-30 years ago these gas field were discovered but still no concerted efforts were made to utilize such gas fields. Lame excuses of viability and law & order situation were usually made to delay the projects which are the assets of the nation. HE directed the Ministry to provide details of such project monthly and expedite work on such project to meet the requirements of oil and gas of the country which are is fastly depleting and also drying up our foreign currency reserves. He is of the view that the fertilizer sector where the recoverable in lieue of GIDC are more than Rs.200 billion and the sector is also getting 18% of the total gas consumption in the country at subsidized rate $ 2-3 per BTU which need to be rationalized and cast benefit analysis need to be made at professional level to gage its utilization at the broader level of economy.
The Committee was informed that the 5 wells were drilled in Jandran Field, however, two wells were tested dry. Work on three wells has been suspended and require work over with rig for completion. In July 2022, MS SNGPL, expressed interest to take Jandran Gas, further correspondence is in progress. The Committee stressed the need for the matter to be expedited and asserted that the matter if needed must be taken up with the Prime Minister. Regarding Saruna Gas Field the Committee was informed that OGDCL is making all out efforts to obtain security clearance for work. The reconnaissance of well marking was carried out by OGDCL under an arrangement made by Sardar Akhtar Mengal. He agreed to help on the condition that FC will not be engaged. This has caused a rift and meetings are being held with Southern Command and Chief Secretary Balochistan. In Jhal Magsi Gas Field SSGCL consented for laying of pipeline subject to allocation of 100 percent Jhal Magsi gas to SSGCL. As per directive of the Prime Minister, OGDCL has initiated the project to install the gas processing plant at Jhal Magsi with tentative completion timeline of June, 2024.
Taking up the Issue of oil theft from main gas pipeline of the country with special reference to Sindh raised by Senator Saifullah Abro, the Committee was informed that SNGPL has removed 9710 illegal taps and SSGC 9047 rubber pipes from registered consumers in Karachi. Two dedicated police stations are being established to investigate similar cases related to gas theft. Details of illegal compressor pumps being used and at the behest of whom is to be submitted to the Committee.
Regarding theft of oil from the main pipeline, PARCO informed the Committee that state ownership and political will is important to deal with the issue. Legal amendments in this regard were stressed as well. The Committee directed the Company to provide details of cases reported in the last 40 years. Also details of action taken against the perpetrators was stressed.