Saturday April 13, 2024

Country’s gas transportation system under stress

The top official said that the power sector placed the demand for 480 mmcfd RLNG for March and 470 mmcfd for April

By Khalid Mustafa
March 28, 2024
Two employees work on a gas pipeline. — AFP/File
Two employees work on a gas pipeline. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The country’s gas transportation system is under stress mainly because of little use of RLNG by various sectors of the economy, which is why the system line pack pressure has reached an alarming level of 5,003 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), which is dangerous for the system’s existence.

“At this level of gas pressure, the transportation line of RLNG can be exposed to any disaster. To this effect, SNGPL and Directorate General Gas have written many letters to the Power Division to increase the utility of imported gas so that the pressure in the gas line could be released,” a senior official of the Energy Ministry told The News.

The official said that the gas pressure in the pipeline stood on March 26 at 4,953 mmcfd, which swelled to 5,003 mmcfd, putting the gas pipeline network in jeopardy. “The power sector is continuously consuming less RLNG against its allocation and as a result, system pack and pressures across the transmission network are extremely high.”

The top official said that the power sector placed the demand for 480 mmcfd RLNG for March and 470 mmcfd for April, but it was using an average of 350 mmcfd. As a result, the line pack pressure is on the rise to the point from where the pipeline can rupture any time if mitigation steps are not taken on time. To cope with the situation, the official said the authorities have reduced the gas flows from some gas fields and also decreased the gas volume pressure in the transportation line.

A Power Division official, when contacted, confirmed receiving information about the precarious situation of the system line pack. He said on Wednesday, the power sector had increased RLNG offtake to 461 mmcfd.

The country is importing close to 1,000 mmcfd LNG a day but its use is on the decline owing to which the transportation line has been brimmed with gas pressure up to 5,003 mmcfd. “If we delay the offloading of LNG vessels and their re-gasification, we can face penalties and demurrages,” officials of the Petroleum Division maintained. The export sector has reduced the imported gas use to 130 mmcfd from over 200 mmcfd because of the high gas tariffs. Likewise, the government had earlier banned the supply of RLNG to CNG sector.

Now it has started giving nominal gas supply to the CNG sector in Punjab by up to 3-4 mmcfd and 27 mmcfd in Sindh. The fertilizer sector is using just 84 mmcfd gas. The Sui Southern is using 53 mmcfd RLNG.