ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday made it loud and clear that the government has decided to review all the agreements earlier made to supply natural gas to the Captive Power Plants (CPP).
This, he said, while addressing a press conference, which was held here in the premises of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources on Friday. He also said that the government is leaving no stone unturned to resolve the on-going gas crisis but import of additional gas is the only viable solution of gas shortage. “To some extent gas loadshedding in the country would be controlled during the upcoming winter while masses would witness a major relief in gas loadshedding after passing two years and there would be surplus gas at the end of constitutional tenure of the incumbent government,” Shahihd said. “Presence of 60 to 70pc CNG filling stations in the residential areas has caused decrease in the gas supply to domestic consumers and gap between demand and supply is of 30pc,” he also said.
He further deplored that during last twelve years, no gas was imported to and the masses are bearing heavy brunt of this failure of the government. However, now the government is seriously striving to bring imported gas.
The government is busy in negotiations with various countries including Qatar for the import of LNG immediately to the country to get rid from the on-going gas crisis. LNG would be expansive in comparison with the cost of locally produced gas and domestic consumers would be affected due to its impact. Besides, government is trying its level best to get additional gas from old gas fields and from tight gas fields. “17 to 18pc Pakistani utilize natural gas “.
He said gas situation would be improved during next March as gas demand was increased with the start of winter season and increase in demand has caused reduction in the supply of gas to domestic consumers. Similarly, situation is worsened in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and those areas of Punjab where fertilzer and industry was scheduled to close.
Federal Minister has also made it clear that gas crisis would persist in Punjab province for next two months and there would be no gas tariff hike for domestic consumers of natural gas. He also said that at present natural gas is being supplied to the industry to maximise the benefit of GSP plus. Petroleum Policy 2012 has been imposed under which concessions have been given for exploration. “A special package of benefits would be given to the companies that would successfully manage exploration of first three gas wells from the reservoirs of shale gas.
Reiterating PML-N government’s stance on much awaited Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project to meet the energy demands of the country, Shahid said that efforts are underway to meet energy requirement. To expedite work on the IP gasline project, both countries (Iran-Pakistan) would sit together to review the gas import project and a time frame for the gas pipeline project would also be finalised, he added.
About a decision of Islamabad high Court in the favour of CNG filling stations, the minister said that the government has approached the SC.