FIA startling revelations about oil theft in oil field

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FIA startling revelations about oil theft in oil field

ISLAMABAD: (APP) The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Friday made startling revelations before National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources about theft of crude oil from oil field in district Karak of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Presenting a preliminary investigation report on the theft before the committee meeting, chaired by Malik Ihtebar Khan, a representative of the agency said more than 100 FIRs (first information reports) with regard to theft were registered in the field.

Following which, he said, 150 accused were arrested and 98 vehicles, reportedly involved in theft cases, were impounded.

According to the initial report, the FIA official said, around 250 bousers were found involved in the oil theft. The MOL, an oil and gas exploration and production company operating there, failed to take any action against the bousers' operators, he said adding "the company either just suspended operations of the bousers sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently."

Sharing details of the modus operandi used in the theft, he said capacity of oil tankers was enhanced by 500 to 1,000 liters, altering the approved size of the bousers in connivance with the concerned apparently.

He said technical assistance of experts from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and record of the MOL company was required to advance the investigation.

He said the company was not cooperating with FIA by not providing the required record, which raised several questions about it.

The official said the agency was avoiding to get the record through legal procedure as, according to him, it was a time-consuming exercise.

Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Arshad Mirza assured the committee that the ministry would help FIA in getting the MOL record within a week.

He said the case was in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission and how it was possible to interrogate the matter without the official record of MOL. So, the record would also be provided to FIA, he added.

The secretary expressed confidence that the case would come to its logical end soon, adding that it was the Ministry of Petroleum that initiated the reference.

Akram Khan Durrani voiced serious concern over the theft cases in the Karak Oil Field, saying the illegal activities were causing loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

He alleged that MOL itself was involved in theft incidents.

Was there any guarantee that presently no theft is taking place after the case surfaced around two years ago?, a committee member questioned.

The committee summoned the concerned officials of MOL and OGRA in the next meeting to look into the theft matter.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Muhammad Arshad Khan Leghari, Rana Afzaal Hussain, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Muhammad Ishaq Khan, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Shahjehan Muneer Mangrio, Abdul Waseem, Sajid Ahmed and Akram Khan Durrani, Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Arshad Mirza, Director General (Petroleum Concessions), Managing Directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited.