The oil ministry has not made any fresh allocation of natural gas from domestic fields to the city gas sector, sending CNG and piped cooking gas prices to record highs but the ministry insisted that allocations. have not been stopped and more for the sector would lead to cut in supplies to industries like power and fertiliser.

Despite a decision of the Union Cabinet to give 100 percent gas supply under ‘no cut’ priority to the city gas distribution (CGD) sector, current supplies are at March 2021 demand level. This has driven city gas operators to buy high priced imported LNG to make up for the shortfall, leading to a record spike in prices, three sources aware of the matter said.

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Commenting on the issue, the ministry said it is waiting for the updated data for the period October 2021 to March 2022 from CGD entities for the allocations in April 2022. This is yet to be received from the entities.” The ministry is supposed to make an allocation of domestic natural gas, which costs a sixth of imported LNG, every six months in April and October every year — based on verified demand in the previous six months. But no allocation has been made since March 2021, sources said.

CGD operators have been requesting the ministry to maintain the gas supply to the sector under no cut cat egory with last 2 months average to ensure demand of both CNG and piped natural gas (PNG) for homes is fully met but the ministry has not made any fresh allocation for over a year now, the sources said. (With agency inputs)

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