ISLAMABAD - The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited added 467054 new gas connections during fiscal year 2020-21 despite depletion of indigenous gas reserves and severe shortage faced by the existing consumers.

Interestingly more than 65pc of the new gas connections had been added by the Sui companies in Punjab, while in Balochistan only 3.91pc connections had been added to the system in FY2020-21, said Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) in its annual report for fiscal year 2020-21 released here Friday. 

Sui Southern Gas Company Limited had added 95436 new connections to the system which included 77152 in Sindh and 18284 in Balochistan, the report added. Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) added 371618 new gas connections which include 305409 in Punjab and 66209 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Both SNGPL and SSGC had expanded its network to 421 villages & towns of four provinces in 2020-21. Interestingly Balochistan was most neglected amongst the provinces where only two villages & towns had been added to the system, the report said. Regarding LNG, the report said that the authority had granted provisional licences to two companies i.e. Daewoo Gas Private Limited (DGPL) and LNG Easy Private Limited (LNGe) for a period of 12 months to complete the requisite formalities under the prevalent rules to undertake the LNG regulated activities. 

Moreover, three new applicants for the virtual pipeline projects have submitted applications to OGRA for the grant of provisional licence which are presently under evaluation. 

LNG virtual pipelines are substitute for physical pipeline whereby gas that would typically be transported through a conventional gas pipeline is instead transported as LNG (liquefied natural gas) to the point of use by sea, road, rail or via a combination of one or more of these transport modes. Similarly, OGRA had granted construction licences in April 2021 to two private sector companies i.e. Energas Terminal Private Limited (ETPL) and Tabeer Energy Private Limited (TEPL) for development of LNG import and re-gasification terminals including all allied facilities at Port Qasim, Karachi as an integrated project under Clause 2 (a) of the LNG Policy, 2011. 

On oil sector, the report said that around 95,379 MT of oil storage in the country has been added by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) during FY 2020-21. There was an addition of around 95,379 MT of oil storage in the country (50,019MT of petrol & 45,360 MT of high speed diesel) by the OMCs.

In FY2020-21, Ogra issued two licences to Lube Oil Blending/Reclaimation /Greece Plants. Similalry the regulator also granted eight licences to lubricant marketing companies (LMCs). Regarding the future outlook and development plan for the next FY for the mid and downstream oil sector, Ogra said that a number of oil storages are expected to be completed at various locations. In its report, Ogra has anticipated a significant growth of LPG auto refueling stations in the country in near future and said that an investment of Rs 18.40bn has been made in the LPG supply infrastructure during 2020-21.  A significant growth of LPG auto refueling stations is anticipated in near future, the annual report said. In 2020-21, Ogra issued 87 various licences related to LPG. For the construction of LPG storage and filling plants Ogra issued 30 licences, for the operation of LPG storage and filling plants 11 licences, one each licence for operation for LPG auto refueling station and construction of LPG production& storage facility respectively. The regulator has recently initiated the licensing of transportation of LPG through road bowsers to ensure that only that only the compliance bowsers are engaged in road transportation of LPG. The regulator has issued 39 licences for transportation of LPG through bowsers. The report further said during the FY 2020-21, an estimated investment of Rs 18.40b has been made in the LPG supply infrastructure whereas total investment in the sector till date, is estimated at about Rs 59.38b.