ISLAMABAD, Feb 25 (APP):The two-state owned companies, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), have collectively detected around 430,194 gas theft cases causing pilferage of 13,266 MMCF (Million Cubic Feet) gas worth Rs 8.855 billion during the last five years.
During a period from 2016-17 to 2019-20, the companies have also registered as many as 1,606 FIRs (First Information Reports) against the gas pilferers, according to an official document available with APP.
As per the break-up, the gas utilities detected 51,401 cases, pilferage of 3,814 MMCF gas of Rs 2,369 million and started legal proceedings against 457 thieves in 2015-16.
In 2016-17, they registered 261 FIRS, identified 85,317 theft cases involving leakage of 2,457 MMCF gas amounting to Rs 1,250 million.
Similarly in 2017-18, the companies spotted 85,466 cases, theft of 1,881 MMCF gas worth Rs1,009 million and registered 263 FIRs against pilferers.
In 2018-19, they detected 110,058 cases, faced 3,086 MMCF gas theft of Rs 2,296 million and registered 257 FIRs, while in 2019-20 they companies identified 97,952 cases, pilferage of 2,028 MMCF gas amounting to Rs 1,930 million and registered 368 FIRs.
A senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told APP that in line with the government strategy to reduce line loss, the gas companies were taking all possible measures to bring down the Unaccounted For Gas (UFG) ratio gradually in the coming years.
Under the strategy, the official said inspection of all industrial, commercial and domestic consumers was being carried out regularly to prevent gas theft by taking prompt action against unauthorized connections and illegal networks.
The UFG, the official said, being one of the most critical elements in the gas sector, played a vital role in reducing the profitability of the gas transmission and distribution companies.
He said the government had promulgated the Gas (Theft Control & Recovery) Ordinance, 2016 and involved law enforcement agencies to prevent gas theft.
The official said almost all Industrial customers had been ‘Cyber Locked’ by restricting unauthorized access to the Customer Meter Stations and allowing entry to authorized personnel only.
Besides, he said, Electronic Volume Correctors had been installed at almost all the industries for strict check and balance on gas consumption and abnormalities.