ISLAMABAD-The gas shortage will haunt the consumers during upcoming winter season, as there in no improvement in the gas supply position in the country vis-à-vis the previous year.

As much gas quantity as last year’s has been arranged for the upcoming winter season, said Minister of State for Petroleum Division Musadik Malik while addressing a press conference here Wednesday. However, the state minister hoped to give more relief to domestic consumers in upcoming winter than last year. An effective gas load management plan for the winter season is being finalized, which will be announced soon, he added. 

Musadik Malik said that efforts are being made to ensure maximum gas supply to power generation plants, industry and to the domestic consumers during the upcoming season. The minister said that the total gas availability with Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) is 680 mmcfd, while in winter season the demand of the SNGPL domestic consumers is likely to go up to 900mmcfd. To fill the supply-demand gap, the government is planning to import additional LPG this winter, the minister said and added that gas companies have been asked to import 20,000 tons per month additional LPG than last year. Responding to a query, the minister said a comprehensive plan would be unveiled soon to make the country self-sufficient in energy in next three to four years. Musadik further announced the government will reduce the prices of gas and electricity in the country with innovative steps. “The previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz promised to end loadshedding and by 2018, it literally installed enough power plants which fulfilled the electricity demand in the country.”

The minister said all-out efforts would be made to ensure gas supply to all the households during winter. Musadik said the government had floated tenders for the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG), however no one responded as it was not available in the international market even on $40/MMBtu. It is worth mentioning here that earlier Pakistan had made several attempts to procure LNG cargoes through spot purchase, however it had failed to grab any supplier for the deliveries. Earlier this week the country again failed to attract any supplier for the delivery of up to 72 LNG cargoes under 4-6 years long term contract. Now it is feared that the country will face severe gas shortage as the existing indigenous gas supply and cargoes imported through LNG long term contracts are not enough to cater for the increased winter demand of the country.