OGRA rejects SNGPL, SSGCL timeline plea of theft adjustment

ISLAMABAD: Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has rejected the request of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) seeking extension in the timeline of gas theft adjustment.
A copy of official documents available with Daily Times disclosed both SNGPL and SSGCL have pleaded amendment in procedure for dealing with theft of gas cases to the Authority.
However, the Authority has rejected the plea and advised to keep strict monitoring and use modern technology to curb the theft of gas.
OGRA said there were approximately 7,000 industrial consumers in the franchise area of SNGPL and were monitored by the regional staff on regular basis and the suspected industrial consumers were visited/monitored at fixed intervals and in some cases even on weekly/daily basis.
Modern technologies like remote meter reading, bypass detection equipment and Electronic Volume Correctors etc are employed/installed at majority of industrial consumers. 
Moreover, various clause of the industrial, commercial and domestic contracts between the gas companies and the gas consumers, approved by OGRA, empower gas companies for vigilant inspection of consumers premises and disconnection of gas supply in case of meter terming or direct use of gas. As per the contracts, the gas companies also have the right to cross check the connected load of consumers and to inspect the houseline whenever deemed necessary.
Keeping in view, Authority hereby rejects the requests of the petitioners and disposes off the case to extent of addition in Procedure for Dealing with Theft of Gas cases 2005, the document said.
Earlier the SNGPL in its request on July 15, 2013 submitted a large number of theft/pilfered cases are being detected which were more than a year old while the Company remained constrained in the booking recovery of theft cases only up to a maximum of 12 months as per said procedure. And accordingly the Company could only book theft volumes for the period not exceeding one year which was contributing towards lesser recovery of revenues as well as contributing to higher unaccounted for gas (UFG) volume.
SNGPL has requested the Authority to amend the relevant clause of the said procedure allowing the actual recovery of theft volumes regardless of time period involved, in order to discourage large scale theft of gas by the various categories of gas consumers while the gas companies were unduly being penalised in respect of higher UFG.
The SSGCL agreed with the proposal given by SNGPL in the subject matter and suggested ‘cut off’ period (say for 36 months) may be provided so as to avoid any controversy.
On finding gas Company’s plea, OGRA to some extent invited all stakeholders to furnish their comments, interventions and views, if any on the petition filed.
And in response most of them raised strong objection on the request and submitted enhancement in the period for booking theft charges against consumers would amount to arbitrary booking of pilferage charges and unduly condemning the consumers. 
While, many of them were of the view existing 12 months might be reduced to six months in order to curb the theft of gas. OGRA has approved the Procedure for Dealing with Theft of Gas in 2005 and conveyed the same to both licencees (SNGPL and SSGCL) on August 16, 2005.

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