New pricing mechanism for LNG purchase suggested

KARACHI: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Wednesday said importers and distributors of LNG were getting over 100 percent profit from consumers which was unjustified.

In a statement issued from Islamabad, he said: “The benefit of reduced prices of LNG must reach masses as well as industrial sector which is suffering from increased cost of doing business. LNG importers and distributors have set high profit margins brushing aside prices fixed by oil and gas regulator Ogra which is illegal.”

He said that international oil prices were increasing which would jack up prices of LNG, making it less attractive for the consumers; therefore, a new pricing formula for purchasing gas should be considered. “Presently, country is buying gas from Qatar at 13.37 percent of the Brent crude which translates into less than five dollars per MMBTU. However, the gas utilities have set price very high demoralising consumers.”

He said: “The LNG bought on less than five dollars would be sold to CNG sector for 12 dollars per MMBTU, textile sector will get it for 10 dollars per MMBTU and IPPs would pay nine dollars per MMBTU. This arrangement has increased the prices which will transfer all the profit to oil retailers and gas utilities leaving consumers high and dry.” He said that bypassing Ogra was not only illegal but it was to set a dangerous trend. The veteran business leader observed that government should take note of the situation.