Sunday January 23, 2022

Winter 2021-22: Govt to continue gas supply to power and fertiliser sectors

The official sources said that there were several reasons for the looming gas crisis going to hit the country during this winter season

November 12, 2021
A representative image.
A representative image.

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of a massive gas shortfall predicted for the ongoing winter season, the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) has decided to continue gas supply to top dedicated sectors i.e. power and fertilizer while domestic and industrial consumers will have to face shortages. The CCOE, which met here under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Thursday, decided that gas supply to dedicated consumers, including power and fertilizer plants, would remain stable. The power plants on SNGPL supply will be provided RLNG during 2021-22 with additional supply. The deficit of the power sector will be recouped through furnace oil. Any gas saved from captive power plants will be diverted towards export-oriented industries.

Official sources said that the total availability of gas from domestic resources stood at 3,300mmcfd while with the import of RLNG, there is another 1,000mmcfd gas coming into the system. There is maximum gas supply available in the range of 4,300mmcfd against the average demand of 6,500 to 7,000mmcfd. In the severe winter season, this demand goes up to 8,000mmcfd.

The official sources said that there were several reasons for the looming gas crisis going to hit the country during this winter season as the local discoveries of gas had witnessed a dip, so the domestic gas reserves were depleting. The local gas supply stood at 4,300mmcfd a few years back but now it had got depleted and stood at 3,300mmcfd gas. The import of RLNG also faced snags and Pakistan used to add 1,200mmcfd gas through RLNG a few years ago but now it was going to add just 1,000 mmcfd gas.

“There is a need to ascertain why two RLNG Terminals could not set up. If they were there, the country could have imported 1,200mmcfd more gas through RLNG,” said the official sources.

According to the official statement issued after the CCOE meeting, a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) was held under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here in Islamabad on Thursday. The OGRA presented the status of revision in the rules regarding punitive measures and fines. The meeting was informed that fines will be imposed for non-compliance of the license conditions and violation of OGRA rules by the licensees. The fines have been revised for licensees across the petroleum value chain. The maximum penalty against major violations is starting from 10 million to 500 million. The CCoE directed OGRA to consider additional measures for illegal gains and fraudulent activities of the licensees. OGRA was directed to send the summary to the Cabinet Division within two weeks to implement the changes as soon as possible.

The OGRA also presented the report on the establishment of a monitoring system for the sale of petroleum products. The CCOE directed OGRA to implement an end-to-end automation and digitization of reporting to account for all transactions in future and have accurate data collection. The Petroleum Division and OGRA will jointly develop a strategy for automation of data collection and digitization of transactions across the value chain.

The Petroleum Division presented the projected natural gas supply and demand position in the country for the coming winter. During the meeting, the SNGPL also shared month-wise scenario of supply and demand in the north of the country. The CCoE directed the Petroleum Division to present a detailed impact analysis of different policy options for developing the Gas Load Management Plan for the winter of 2021-22 in the next meeting.