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ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division has stated that Sindh would face shortage of gas in winter as both terminals were running at full capacity, and more LNG could not be moved from Port Qasim to Pakland, from where the distribution network of the SSGC draws its gas.

The Division warned that the as LNG terminals were running at full capacity, and the same situation would continue in December and January.

Therefore, it is essential to lay down proposed 17 kms gas line to bring in more than 1,200mmcfd to fill the demand and supply of gas in winter in Sindh.

Reacting to a statement of former chairman Miftah Ismail, the Petroleum Division stated that there is sufficient capacity to move gas up to country for now. While, he (Miftah Ismail) has been the chairman of the SSGC Board, either he is unaware of the operations or his information is old, the statement added.

The division further explained that the PML-N government already built 1,100km line, and the present government can build 17km line.

However, it is the Sindh government's property, which the line has to cross for which ROW has not been given.

During 2013-2018, not a single oil and gas block was awarded by the then government. The 115 discoveries, which were made during that time, resulted due to blocks auctioned by the previous governments.

The incumbent government auctioned 10 blocks last year, and is going to auction 20 new blocks in the next month, and more offshore blocks in December.

This step will accelerate the process of exploration and production activities in the country.

It must be known that all long-term LNG contracts were signed by the previous government.

The present government is pursuing spot purchases of the LNG to import gas at lowest possible rates for maximum utilisation of both terminals.

This government has taken steps to encourage private sector for construction of five LNG terminals.

Moreover, the necessary coordination is afoot for replacement of existing FSRU with enhanced capacity unit after the necessary approval by the ECC and Cabinet.

Fresh orders have been issued to the SSGC to engage the Government of Sindh for allotment of right-of-way for construction of 17 kilometers pipeline from Port Qasim.

The current government is fully cognizant of gas situation in the country. In the light of depleted indigenous gas, and surged demand, the Petroleum Division organised the gas seminar featuring national and international speakers in the field of energy, wherein, speakers presented ideas for gas supply options (indigenous/import), financial sustainability and weighted average cost of gas, gas infrastructure development needs and open access regime for LNG.

Miftah Ismail had stated that the current government had neglected the gas sector and could not foresee the increase in gap of supply and demand situation in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020