The natural gas supplies to various sectors surpassed the 4,000 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) mark in Pakistan due to a constant increase in demand and consumption.
According to the data updated by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) in a report, the natural gas supplies in the country have reached 4,052 MMCFD, which are met through gas fields located in different provinces, and the emerging source of imported Re-gasified Liquid Natural Gas (RLNG).
The major fields of the country that produce gas include Mari, Sui, Uch, Qadirpur, Kandhkot, Maramzai. In addition, Pakistan has been importing LNG since 2015, whereby the RLNG has contributed significantly to mitigating the natural gas shortage in the country.
By the end of FY2019-20, the share of natural gas generated by fields stood at 71 percent, whereas the country’s gas supplies were met through the imported RLNG. Sindh stood as the major supplier with a contribution in the gas supply of around 45 percent, while Balochistan, KP, and Punjab followed with shares of 11 percent, 12 percent, and 3 percent, respectively.
Natural gas consumers are categorized into residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The industrial sector includes the power, cement, general industry, fertilizer, and transport sectors. The supplies of gas are done through distribution companies, namely SSGC and SNGPL.
SSGC provides clean and affordable fuel to around 3 million domestic, 24 thousand commercial, and 4 thousand plus industrial customers.
SNGPL is the largest integrated gas company, serving more than 7.043 million consumers in North Central Pakistan through an extensive network in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
Gas Demands Surge to 4,500 MMCFD in Winter
The natural gas demand in the country has been increasing day by day. In 20 years, the consumption of gas increased by 88 percent or 1,733 MMCFD.
In 1999-2000, the overall consumption of natural gas in the country stood around 1,950 MMCFD, whereas the same has increased to 3,683 MMCFD in FY 2019-20.
As opposed to 4,000 MMCFD gas supplies to various sectors at the present level, the consumptions stood at 3,683 MMCFD due to line losses.
According to the report, the demand for gas increased significantly to nearly 4,500 MMCFD in the country. Consequently, Gas Utility Companies, in accordance with the priorities set by the government, curtail gas supply to different sectors.
The residential (domestic) sector remains at the top priority of the gas companies for maintaining gas supply, as per the government’s Natural Gas Load Management Policy. The province-wise gas consumption shows that Punjab’s share had been 56 percent (1,471 MMCFD), Sindh — 33 percent (874 MMCFD), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) — nine percent (249 MMCFD), and Balochistan — two percent (48 MMCFD) of the total gas consumption.
The increase in demand for natural gas will amplify further in the next coming years. The gas consumption has surged to 5,500 MMCFD by the next ten years across the country. The government has initiated various measures to bridge the gap between demand and supply, which include the incentivizing of local gas production, import of natural gas in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and the development of cross-country pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan.
The construction and operation of two LNG Handling Terminals, each having a re-gasification capacity of around 650 MMCFD at Karachi Port, are major milestones achieved to mitigate gas shortages in the country.