Rs. 9 Billion Being Spent to Improve Gas Supply in Underdeveloped Areas

The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum was informed that an amount of Rs. 9 billion is being spent on improving the gas supply system in underdeveloped areas.

This was informed by officials of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum, which was chaired by Senator Abdul Qadir.

While briefing the committee on the non-supply of gas in Kohat, the officials of SNGPL said that a large quantity of gas is being produced from Kohat district and priority is given to the areas in the supply network of piped gas.

The meeting was told that a plan of Rs. 440 million has been launched for redressal of gas pressure complaints in urban areas of Kohat. Officials further said that during the current winter season, gas was supplied to Kohat on a priority basis. To augment the system, an amount of Rs. 5.30 billion out of Rs. 9 billion has already been spent on projects, while work on Phase-II is in progress, the meeting was told.

Senator Afnanullah said that there is a severe shortage of gas in Pakistan, furnace oil is being imported and LNG was not procured on time despite the fact that the committee also gave instructions in this regard. Senator Shamim Afridi said that the Senate chairman should be informed in writing that the ministers are not attending the committee meetings.

The petroleum secretary informed the committee that 27 percent of the country’s population is getting piped gas while the rest of the consumers are using LPG.

“We can’t supply piped gas to all the consumers,” he said. He added that due to the depletion of gas reserves in the country, the government decided to import LNG. He admitted that in case of shortage, load shedding is unavoidable and the issue of low gas pressure is also encountered by consumers.

Senator Abdul Qadir said that expensive gas was being imported into the country and was being sold cheaply. The chairman of the committee revealed that fertilizer plants were given gas at $2 per mmBtu gas while they sell gas for $8.

Taking up the issue of progress on the establishment of an LNG terminal at Gwadar Port, the committee was informed that work on LNG virtual pipeline was in progress. Taking an update of gas schemes for various cities in Balochistan, the committee showed concern regarding 16 non-gasified districts.

The oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Chairman assured the committee of complete support and said that the current 1.5 percent of LPG penetration must be taken to 5 percent to deal with the prevalent shortage in these areas.

The meeting was attended by Senators Saadia Abbasi, Fida Muhammad, Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmedzai, Afnan Ullah Khan, Shamim Afridi, Bahramand Khan Tangi, Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Muhammad Qasim, and senior officers from the Petroleum Division and OGRA.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...

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