LNG penalty: Khaqan Abbasi accepts stance of SNGPL chief

LNG penalty: Khaqan Abbasi accepts stance of SNGPL chief

Despite a tense situation and a stand-off that developed during a meeting held a few days back between Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Arif Hameed, the stance taken by the latter has now been accepted and he has been advised to continue working on his post.

The minister had ordered the MD SNGPL to sign a document which would make the company liable to pay a penalty on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imported from Qatar. The orders were turned down by Arif Hameed, on which the minister had threatened Hameed with removal from his post if the deal was not signed.

Hameed, rather than bowing to pressure, had said he would take the matter to the Board of Directors for a decision and will then make his decision.

Now the government has decided to shun the use of pressure and has retreated from the tactic.

According to sources, the issue came into the notice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. As a result, the government, sighting its own interest, advised the minister to take the path of patience and not to let the issue get highlighted. Abbasi then held a one-to-one meeting with the MD SNGPL and accepted his stance.

It is further learnt that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the SNGPL was held to review the situation and it decided to endorse the stance adopted by their MD. The board also felt that since the LNG is to pass through the Sui Southern pipelines, hence it is the sister organisation, SSGPL which can be made responsible for any penalty instead of the SNGPL.


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