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Monday March 04, 2024

OGRA hikes gas tariff

Earlier on June 2 OGRA announced a 50 percent increase (Rs415.11 per MMBTU) for the consumers of SNGPL

February 06, 2024
This photo shows the flames of a lit burner of a gas stove. — AFP/File
This photo shows the flames of a lit burner of a gas stove. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: In a massive blow to gas consumers across the country who are already reeling under heavy and unaffordable bills, the Oil and Gas Regularly Authority (OGRA) has further increased the gas tariff of Sui Northern by 35.13 percent and Sui Southern by 8.57 percent to be effective retrospectively from January 1, 2024, to meet the Rs98 billion shortfall till June 30, 2024. This is the second gas price hike in the current financial year 2023-24.

The regulator on February 2, 2024, recommended the average increase of the prescribed gas price by 23.16 percent to Rs1,590 per MMBTU from the average price of Rs1,291 per MMBTU earlier determined on June 2, 2023. The IMF wants the government to implement the gas review implementation biannually to reduce the circular debt which currently stands at Rs1,250 billion. The OGRA is bound to announce the gas tariff biannually --- the government is bound to enforce gas prices from July 1 and then from January 1 in any current financial year.

According to the OGRA’s decisions uploaded on February 2, 2024, its official website, the tariff of Sui Northern gas has increased to Rs1,673.82 per MMBTU against the price of Rs1,238.68 earlier determined on June 2, 2023. Similarly, the regulator has increased the gas tariff of Sui Southern to Rs1,466.40 per MMBTU from Rs1,350.68 per MMBTU. “This is the comparison of gas prices based on a determination to be effective from January 1, 2024, from the earlier determination effective from July 1 in 2023-24 fiscal,” a senior official said.

The government has received the determination of OGRA. “We are examining the OGRA’s new determination.” Under the Ogra ordinance, if the government does not respond to OGRA’s determination within 40 days, the tariff determined by the regulator will automatically be enforced.” “The caretaker government will try to take a decision by mid of the current month and enforce a further increase in the gas prices effective from February 1, 2023, an official said.

Earlier on June 2 OGRA announced a 50 percent increase (Rs415.11 per MMBTU) for the consumers of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), pushing the gas price up to Rs1,238.68 per MMBTU, effective from July 1, 2023. It also increased the gas price by 45pc (417.23 per MMBTU) to Rs1,350.68 per MMBTU for the consumers of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) for 2023-24. The caretaker government had increased the gas prices up to 193 percent effective from November 1, 2023, with an estimated revenue tariff of Rs980 billion in FY24.

Earlier the government had said that with the massive increase in gas prices effective from November 1, 2023, there will be no more monthly inflow in the gas circular debt for the financial year 2023-24. “This Rs980 billion target could not be achieved because of the low production of gas in the Sui Southern system from 805 mmcfd to 730 mmcfd which led to low gas sale growth resulting in limiting the revenue to Rs802 billion against the revenue target of Rs980 showing the shortfall of Rs98 billion. The Rs98 billion deficit in the revenue will be met through the average increase of both the gas companies by 23.16 percent,” an official told The News.