‘MOL officials involved in Rs1tr+ oil theft’

ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee was informed on Friday that oil & gas company MOL Pakistan officials were involved in the crude oil theft in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The theft amount has crossed Rs1 trillion during past two and a half years and it is still continuing, NA body was informed.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources met here to discuss the oil theft in district Karak and the issue of provincial royalty in oil and gas. The meeting was presided over by MNA Malik Ihtebar Khan.

Akram Khan Durrani informed the committee that the oil theft continued for years in the province with the convenience of top MOL officials, adding that the amount is over and above Rs 1 trillion. The committee expressed concern over absence of MOL Pakistan chief and directed him to ensure his presence in next meeting. Akram Durrani suggested: “If he (MOL chief) failed to attend the next meeting, police should be asked to produce him as due to crude oil theft massive financial losses were incurred to the national exchequer.”

The committee was further informed that theft is still taking place from the joint pipeline of the NASHPA oilfield and Makori Central Processing Facility at Mir Kalam, Spina Banda, in the Karak district. In these areas unidentified culprits are stealing oil from the pipeline and transporting it to other areas, NA body was informed.

The Committee directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to expedite the inquiry into the theft of crude oil from MOL-operated oil field in district Karak, KP.

FIA official said that as per their finding three methods were being used to steal the crude oil, which include puncturing the pipe, alteration of crude oil tankers with enhancing capacity of each tanker to carry 1,000 litre additional oil and use of water browsers. He informed that National Logistic Cell (NLC) and Saadullah Shah were carriage contractors hired by the company for the transportation of crude oil and supply of water. He said 250 water tankers were intercepted in crude oil theft activity but no serious action was taken against them.

The FIA official apprised the committee about preliminary findings into the theft of oil and said MOL was not cooperating with the agency in oil theft probe. He requested the committee to direct Secretary Ministry of Petroleum to make available the required record of the company. On his request, the committee directed secretary to provide all the record to investigating agency, who assured the body of providing record within a week.

FIA official apprised that more than 100 FIRs have been registered against the persons reportedly involved into the theft and over 150 persons at present were in the custody. He further informed that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) should be directed to provide technical assistance required to complete the inquiry. The committee decided to look into the crude oil theft issue in detail in next meeting and directed all the relevant quarters to attend the meeting with necessary record.

On the issue of royalty, the committee directed for inclusion of a member of the National Assembly from the oil producing districts in the committees responsible for overseeing the utilization of the said funds. The Committee also directed the Provincial Energy Departments to ensure utilization of funds allocated by the E&P companies on social welfare, education and health care in the oil and gas producing districts and not otherwise.

The Committee was also briefed about the social welfare guidelines by the Director General, Petroleum Concession. The committee decided to discuss the same in its next meeting.

The meeting was attended by MNAs; Muhammad Arshad Khan Laghari, Rana Afzaal Hussain, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Muhammad Ishaq Khan, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Abdul Waseem, Sajid Ahmed, Akram Khan Durrani, Ms Shahjehan Muneer Mangrio, Secretary M/o P&NR, representatives from Provincial Energy Departments and senior officers of the departments concerned.

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