Balochistan is included in the world’s five major reserves of gold and copper. It also has the world’s major oil and gas reserves. Balochistan is also strategically significant, with 6.5 million Baloch people. It is, unfortunately, the most underdeveloped province of Pakistan, and Dera Bugti is one of the most underdeveloped parts of this province. In Dera Bugti is located Sui, the area which has come to be the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. Natural gas was discovered through the Sui gas field in 1925 and by 1955, this gas was being supplied to different parts of Pakistan. Being discovered in the Sui field, natural gas in Pakistan came to be called “Sui gas”. The two leading state-owned distribution gas companies in Pakistan go by the names Sui Southern Gas Company and Sui Northern Gas Company.

It is important to note here that the first provinces to get supply from Sui gas were Punjab and Sindh. On the other hand, 60 years have elapsed since that discovery and yet Sui, the town which is a mere four miles from the gas discovery site, itself has no gas supply and people are forced to use wood and coal as fuel. Even in the provincial capital of Balochistan, Quetta, Sui gas supply came at us in 1970. Then in 1990, Hub was also provided gas supply because it had become an industrial area.

Balochistan is a resource-rich province and the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country. It is unfortunate that in 1995, Balochistan produced almost 56 percent of Pakistan’s total output of natural gas, but by 2017 its contribution dropped to 22.7 percent, and the same year it consumed only 5.81 percent of the country’s total output.

Currently, Balochistan, after Sindh, being the second-largest producer of gas in Pakistan, has much less consumption of natural gas along with KPK, on the other hand, Punjab has the highest consumption of natural gas. Even Sui town, which is only four miles from the gas field, where around 800mmscf natural gas is produced daily from 87 completed wells, itself doesn’t have natural gas.

The nonavailability of natural gas is creating myriad problems for people. As a result, this creates a negative impact in our ecosystem and increase decor gestation.

NASIR ALAM,

Khuzdar.

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