ISLAMABAD    -   With advent of the winter, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has advised all Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) marketing companies and distributors to ensure smooth provision of the commodity at the notified price across the country.

To tackle the elements involved in black-marketing and creating artificial shortage of the commodity, a special squad of OGRA inspectors is conducting surprise visits to LPG production plants and distributors’ premises randomly to check stock and rates of LPG, besides status on implementation of the authority directives.

“All LPG marketing companies must ensure publication of the prescribed LPG consumer price per 11.8 kg cylinder for 100 percent local and imported LPG (if any) in national press in accordance with rule 18 of LPG (Production & Distribution) Rules, 2001 and furnish a copy of the same to the authority accordingly,” a senior official told APP.

He said all those licence holders, who were not doing business (due to any reason), had been ‘strictly advised’ to inform the authority about their status on monthly basis.” No reply can he considered as non-compliance of the authority’s directives.”

OGRA, the official, had also requested all provincial governments and local administration to monitor LPG plants and distributor premises so that selling of the commodity could be ensured at notified price.

Answering a question, he said the Petroleum Division was in process of finalising a new LPG policy, under which the commodity production would be made mandatory from all existing natural gas producing fields, to meet the increasing demand and ensure its availability at controlled price throughout the year especially during the winter season.

“A new LPG policy has almost been finalised, which will be announced in the coming weeks. Under this policy, the LPG production will be mandatory from all operational gas fields across the country to meet its increased demand and curtail the import,” he said.

The official said the production from LPG’s existing plants, installed at different fields, would be streamlined, however, a period of one to two years would be required to set up new plants at the fields where the facility was not available.

“We have the potential to increase the LPG production at domestic level and bring down its import,” he resolved.

Besides, the official said, a new pricing mechanism was being introduced to ensure uninterrupted supply of the LPG at controlled price throughout the year.

In future, he said, there would be an open and transparent auction at the announced date for the locally produced LPG by Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited, abolishing the existing quota system. “There will be binding on the successful bidders to sale the commodity at prescribed rate throughout a year in every nook and corner of the country.”

According to a report compiled by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, the LPG consumption stood at around 40,921 Metric Ton (MT) during a 14-month period from April 2018 to May 2019 across the country.

Domestic, commercial and industrial consumers used 3,174 MT LPG in April, 3,077 MT in May, 2,661 MT in June, 2,680 MT in July, 2,684 MT in August, 3,027 MT in September, 3,264 in October, 2,630 in November and 3,272 MT in December 2018, while 4,357 MT in January, 2,961 MT in February, 1,715 MT in March and 2,971 in April and 2,448 MT in May 2019.