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WD
Web Desk
October 24, 2010
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Decline in gas supply hits SSGC hard

Entertainment

WD
Web Desk
October 24, 2010

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KARACHI: Sindh and Balochistan are going to face severe gas shortage this year, as supply to Sui Southern Gas Company by producers has declined substantially, a top official of the company said on Saturday.
Gas supply from Badin field operated by the British Petroleum (BP) is declining rapidly, the official said, requesting anonymity.
The supply to SSGC from Badin has dropped to 145 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) from the last two years’ average of 210 MMCFD, badly affecting SSGC’s ability to meet demand, he said.
The BP does not seem interested in boosting production and has stopped drilling wells ahead of a planned sellout of its Pakistan assets, he said.
A spokeswoman for BP denied that the company had stopped drilling new wells in Badin field. “It is business as usual for us. Everyone knows that Badin is a declining field. Nevertheless, we have run seismic surveys before drilling new wells.”
BP announced sale of its Pakistan operations earlier this year as part of a global drive to cut assets after an oil spill near an American coast caused billions of dollars in clean-up expense.
The SSGC official said that the supply from BHP-operated Zamzama, where one of its wells still remain submerged in flood-waters, has also declined.
The Kadenwari and Bhit gas fields, operated by ENI, are also running on low throughput because of annual equipment overhauling, he said.
“SSGC is receiving 80 MMCFD and 327 MMCFD gas against 140 MMCFD and 342 MMCFD, respectively, from Kadenwari and Bhit,” a SSGC spokesman said.
“It is going to be bad, very bad for all of us including the industries,” the senior official said. “Demand has already gone up by 10 percent, which means we are short by 300 MMCFD in November.”
The government had to reduce supply to factories and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations during last two winters to meet the demand for domestic consumers who need more gas to run geysers and heaters.
SSGC

officials complain that one reason for rising demand for gas is government’s inclination to supply piped-gas to villages in far-flung districts.
“We cannot meet the demand for existing urban centers where industry is based and we are being pushed to stretch our resources,” the official said.
Hundreds of thousands of new connections are added every year to the system of SNGPL and SSGC, most of them politically motivated, he said. “Many of these consumers in rural areas cannot afford to pay their bills. We suffer pipeline leakages and then have to pay penalty.”
Total gas production of the country stands at 4,000 MMCFD but actual quantity available for sale is 3,600 MMCFD. Demand has shot up to 4800 MMCFD.

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