ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday took notice of overall systematic failure of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited(SNGPL) and the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited(SSGCL) in ensuring smooth supply of gas to the consumers during the winter season, and directed an immediate inquiry against their managing directors for showing incompetence in dealing with the operational issues and concealing information about fault in gas compressors. The prime minister instructed Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan to complete the inquiry and submit him the report within 72 hours. The four-member fact finding committee, as directed by the prime minister, will be headed by UzmaAdil Khan, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairperson, and include Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG (PC), Shahid Yusaf, DG (Gas), and Imran Ahmed, DG (LG).Chairing a high-level meeting about the arising crisis in natural gas supply to the people, the prime minister instructed the officials concerned to further coordinate planning regarding demand and supply of gas so that the consumers could not face any hardship in this regard. Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan briefed the prime minister about the gas situation and the prevailing crisis. The prime minister was told that two main companies of gas supply – SNGPL and SSGCL – were responsible for the present gas crisis in the country. The two companies not only concealed facts regarding faulty compressors but also showed incompetence about estimate of demand of gas in the month of December.About domestic production of gas, the meeting was told that presently total production of gas from south fields of the country was 1200 mmcfd, which was 800 mmcfd less than the last year’s production. Similarly, 50 mmcdf less gas was being produced from Kunnar Pasaki and Gamat gas fields in north of the country, and as a result consumers in Karachi were faced with hardships in supply of gas. The meeting was informed that consumers in north of the country faced hardships in supply of gas owing to fault in compressors at Nawab Shah and Saran areas. The prime minister was told that neither the SNGPL informed about real supply of gas in December nor the SSGCL timely brought to the knowledge of government fault in the gas compressors.About the steps being taken to tackle gas situation in the country, the prime minister was told that scheduled eight cargo ships of RLNG would reach Pakistan well in time, adding that efforts had been intensified to retain domestic gas production. The prime minister was informed that despite decrease in domestic gas production and fault in gas compressors, it had been ensured that the domestic consumers are not affected. However, CNG stations and capto plants of some general industries were facing hardships.Published in Daily Times, December 13th 2018.