Senate Body Briefed On Gas Shortages, Remedial Measures

Senate body briefed on gas shortages, remedial measures

The Ministry of Energy Tuesday gave a detailed briefing to the Senate's Standing Committee on Petroleum about the situation of gas supply especially during the peak winter season, shortages of the commodity and the measures taken by the authorities concerned to tackle the gas demand-supply gap

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Oct, 2021 ) :The Ministry of Energy Tuesday gave a detailed briefing to the Senate's Standing Committee on Petroleum about the situation of gas supply especially during the peak winter season, shortages of the commodity and the measures taken by the authorities concerned to tackle the gas demand-supply gap.

The ministry officials informed the meeting, chaired by Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir, that the both Sui companies are making all-out effort to maintain uninterrupted gas supply to all the sectors including domestic and industrial consumers around-the-clock basis.

During the summer season, they said, domestic gas demand reduced but demand of power sector surged, which was met by ordering maximum possible volumes of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG).

Whereas, during the winter season, the domestic gas demand increased by over three times on Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL)'s network and tw2 times on Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC)'s network due to use of water and room heaters. "So, there remains a shortfall even after maximum orders of RLNG by SNGPL. Therefore, load management is carried out to mitigate the demand supply gap".

The official apprised the meeting that during the winter load management of 2019-20, the SNGPL effectively managed demand-supply situation.

However, supply of gas to non-export General Industry was suspended from December 12-31, 2019. The gas supply to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sector remained suspended from December 20-31, 2019 due to enhanced gas consumption by priority domestic sector and severe cold wave.

Upon increase in ambient temperatures, the supply of gas was restored to non-export General Industry from January 1, 2020 whereas supply to CNG sector was allowed two days a week (12 hours per day) from January 1-13, 2020, after which there was no curtailment of supplies.

During the winter load management 2020-21, the SNGPL faced delays in arrival of vessels and late berthing of LNG cargoes, resulting in demand-supply gap on the transmission system during the second half of December-2020.

In order to mitigate the shortfall, the officials said, the SNGPL resorted to closure of CNG stations in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and Captive Power Plants (Non-zero rated) of Punjab along-with curtailment of RLNG supplies to the power sector.

They informed that the power consumed 227 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas as against the allocation of 255 MMCFD for the month of December 2020.

Since the situation was beyond the control of SNGPL, the curtailment was undertaken in pursuant to the Cabinet Committee on Energy's decision dated November 26, 2020, as per the approved Load Management Plan 2020-21.

The officials said the SNGP has ordered maximum RLNG available capacity of 1200 MMCFD of gas for upcoming winter season.

They said the winter gas load-management plan was being prepared which would be presented to the Cabinet for approval, adding all-out efforts would be made to ensure maximum supply of gas to different sectors.

Senator Shamin Afridi expressed his reservations regarding gas load shedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Senator questioned as why there was load-shedding in KPK when province has surplus gas production.

Senator Fida Muhammad criticized the SNGPL over its gas distribution plan for the provinces.

Senator Qurat Ul Ain Marri and Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi also pointed out that Sindh also has surplus gas production and yet province faced gas outages.

Chairman Committee Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir suggested that locally produced gas, which was inexpensive, should be provided to domestic consumers and costly imported RLNG should be diverted towards industrial units which could afford such rates.

The SNGPL officials rejected the impression that there was any gas load-shedding in KPK.

The ministry representatives informed the committee that electricity demand decreased during winter season and gas demand surged. "Policy is being drafted which would allow domestic users to utilize electricity during the winters for heating purposes at fixed rates." Senator Rukhsana Zuberi said there should be awareness campaign for the conservation of energy. "People should be apprised of the impending energy crisis."The SSGC officials informed that a robust awareness drive was being run through print, electronic and social media to raise awareness regarding conservation of energy resources.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Senators Aon Abbas Bappi, Afnan Ullah Khan, Atta Ur Rehman and Kauda Babar, besides officials from Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Division, SSGC, and SNGPL.