Saturday, February 4, 2023

Pakistani consumers to face 16-hour gas loadshedding in winters

Pakistani consumers could face as long as 16 hours of gas loadshedding during winters, the Ministry of Energy’s Petroleum Division warned on Thursday.

Ministry of Energy’s Petroleum Division told National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Petroleum that natural gas rationing in the coming winter is inevitable, and thus there was no other option left to counter the increasing shortage of gas every year.

 “There would be no gas supply (to household consumers) for 16 hours,” he said, adding that natural gas was limited in the country and the coming winter was quite challenging in terms of gas availability and hence could be provided only three times a day to domestic users for cooking.

“We can’t supply gas at $3 per MMBtu against a current purchase of $40 per MMBtu.”The secretary said.

Additional Secretary Incharge of the Petroleum Division, Capt (R) Muhammad Mahmood testified before the parliamentary panel making it clear that the division would make every possible effort to ensure gas supply to domestic users for three hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and three hours in the evening.

The meeting of the committee headed by Amir TalalGopang was also informed that local gas production was falling at the rate of 10pc every year while dependency on imported gas was increasing day by day towards 100pc in the upcoming years, thus there would be no indigenous gas supply after 10 years if the situation persists.

Political Instability amplifying the fuel issues

According to the secretary of petroleum, there were prospective areas in the country with gas deposits but the exploration was not possible due to security reasons. “There are no new discoveries of gas due to security risk and political instability”, he added, clarifying that instead of coming to Pakistan the big international petroleum corporations were going to other low-risk countries in search of oil and gas.

Because of political instability, international oil and gas companies are not ready to invest here, as they raise questions that after one year this government will not be in place, then what will happen to them, said the Secretary Petroleum asking why would a company come for a year.

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