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October 20, 2019

Extreme gas pressure hits pipeline structure again


October 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Extreme gas pressure has again hit the pipeline structure, as the power sector has cut down on the RLNG by 395mmcfd.

This is a quite dangerous situation, as the maximum capacity of pipeline to store gas stands at 4.2bcfd and when the line pack increases, the storage shoots up to 4.9bcfd that may damage the line.

The sudden reduction in the RLNG use by the power sector has caused the gas system to suffer Rs300 million loss per day.

According to the latest real data on the RLNG consumption as of Saturday (October 19, 2019) available with this correspondent, the SNGPL off-take reduced to 530 million cubic feet gas per day, while the combined injection rate from both terminals is 960mmcfd as of 2pm on Saturday. This is result of high pressures built into the system because of low consumption of power. Extreme high pressures are prevalent in network. Currently, the power has reduced to 395MMCFD.

The current LNG re-gasification from both the terminals is 990MMCFD, and around 800MMCFD RLNG swap is being received due to high pressures.

This means that 190MMCFD is going into the Sui Southern system which it will sell to domestic consumers at indigenous rates and this is how the cost of costly RLNG will never be recovered. And approximate loss caused stands at Rs300 million per day for which the power sector is responsible.

According to the Petroleum Division spokesman the use of RLNG depended upon fluctuation in temperature that really determined the demand of electricity in the country.

“We have no option but to use the gas pipeline as gas storage, but when gas consumption reduces, the off-take of gas from terminals slows down accordingly.”

He said huge investment was needed for gas storages and to this effect the World Bank and ADB had been asked to come up with a feasibility study.

When re-gasification reduces, then the state-owned Pakistan State Oil feels the heat because of slowdown in re-gasification rate, it has to pay the demurrages from time to time.

To avoid demurrage, the situation warrants immediate remedial measures to be taken in coordination with the Power Division and SNGPL, as the situation is developed due to lesser off-take by the Power Division than the committed one.

The RLNG data consumption shows that the power sector is getting 385mmcfd against allocation of 895mmcfd. Likewise, fertilizer sector is getting 69mmcfd against allocation of 70mmcfd, cement sector getting 7mmcfd, industry 240mmcfd, and CNG sector consuming 40mmcfd.

This means the RLNG consumption stands at 741mmcfd against the committed demand of 1,334mmcfd in toto.

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