The two-state companies, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), have collectively detected theft of around 6431.84 MMCF (Million Cubic Feet) gas amounting to Rs 5.62 billion during the last three years.
According to official data available with APP as of September-2020, the SNGPL identified the theft of 5,518 MMCF gas causing a Rs 4,698 million loss to the national exchequer.
As per the break-up, the company detected 3,086 MMCF gas theft of Rs 2,296 million in 2018-19, around 2,028 MMCF gas of Rs 1,930 million in 2019-20 and 404 MMCF of Rs 472 million in 2020-21 (as of September).
Similarly, the SSGC noted that the gas volume of 913.84 MMCF amounting to Rs 930.63 million had been stolen from its network during a three-year period.
The company faced the theft of 179.83 MMCF gas worth Rs 217.65 million in 2019-20, around 289.53 MMCF of Rs 303.77 million in 2018-19 and 444.48 MMCF of Rs409.21 million in 2017-18.
The two companies have filed 845 FIRs (First Information Reports) against the culprits found involved in gas theft during the last two years.
Meanwhile, 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.