ISLAMABAD: In a dispute over gas shortages, the federal government has said that if infrastructure constraints are not eliminated with the help of stakeholders, especially Sindh, the shortage is likely to double next year.
According to the report, at a Cabinet Committee on Energy meeting chaired by Prime Minister's Adviser to the Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the Ministry of Energy said that gas shortages increased due to a 7% reduction in local gas production and a 5% increase in usage. In comparison, last year, there was a 12% difference in demand.
According to an official statement, gas production has declined by 7% in the last 10 years due to non-gas exploration, while a 5% annual increase in demand is leading to a shortage of gas in December 2019. MMCFD (million cubic feet daily) was reached.
To overcome this shortage, the government has decided to set up additional terminals and in November 2019 five new private terminals were approved, while 12 of them will be imported to supply imported natural gas (LNG) to the northern parts of the country. So MMCFD pipeline work will start soon.
According to sources, the Finance Treasury directed the Petroleum and Power Division to submit a detailed plan to improve gas supply throughout the year, and to overcome energy shortages.
He also inquired about the difference in gas and electricity prices and sought new ideas to balance the surplus electricity and natural gas shortages.
The meeting noted that in the winter, gas use doubles throughout the year, the main reason being that the domestic sector prefers relatively cheaper gas use than other sources of energy.
The meeting explained that the average cost of electricity and gas is 40 instead of 60 and that the majority of consumers use gas for cooking and heating in winter.
Further, gas is being supplied to the consumers at Rs 212 per unit against the average cost of LNG at Rs 1600 per unit and local gas at an average price of Rs.780 per unit.
The meeting also informed that Karachi consumers are most likely to be hit by gas shortages next year as gas consumption has increased by 20% this year.
The Committee emphasized that a 21-2020 plan is needed to work effectively using energy generated from both gas and electricity to control gas shortages and improve its supply.