Petroleum Ministry under scrutiny over multibillion LNG deal
4 May 2010
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources came under intense scrutiny yesterday by the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) over the highly suspect multibillion LNG deal, which was annulled by the Supreme Court and referred back to the ECC. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh chaired the ECC meeting.
The LNG controversy erupted when the Petroleum Ministry did not feature the joint bid of Vitol/Fauji Foundation for the LNG deal despite the fact that it was the lowest bid. The summary presented to the ECC by the Petroleum Minsitry did not include this bid. Bids of Shell and the French Firm GDF were the only ones listed. Consequently the ECC had decided to award the contract to the French firm.
The Managing Director of Fauji Foundation approached the then chairman ECC and former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, who publicly declared that the Petroleum Ministry had not given him the complete picture.
According to sources, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar assured the ECC members that the revised LNG deal would be completely transparent. Secretary Petroleum Kamran Lashari appraised the ECC about the Supreme Court decision, which had instructed to hold those involved in the scam accountable.