LNG importers partly blamed in report on gas crisis

Published: January 14, 2019


ISLAMABAD: Lack of coordination among companies importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) also contributed to the recent gas crisis in the country, a report submitted to the prime minister states.

Premier Imran Khan has directed that instead of giving foreign contracts to several companies, only one should be given the responsibility.

According to sources, a fact-finding committee was formed when the prime minister took notice of the crisis. It suggested upgrading the system.

However, PM Imran sacked the managing directors of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd over the issue.

The report revealed that four companies were importing LNG into Pakistan. Pakistan State Oil, which has two agreements – Qatar and Gnore, Pakistan LNG Limited through two – ENI and Gnore, Pakistan LNG Terminal Limited and SSGC have one agreement – Engro.

There are a total of six agreements and these companies are responsible for importing LNG directly.

Sources said the gas companies failed to make a correct assessment of the demand and supply situation, which resulted in the gas shortfall.

They said the fact-finding committee suggested in order to ensure uninterrupted supply of LNG, only one company in Pakistan should be made responsible for making the agreements.

Sources said after completing the file work, the Ministry of Petroleum would request Qatar for amendment in the agreements because the final decision will depend on the consensus among the parties.

An official of the Petroleum Ministry said, “There is provision in the agreements that the Pakistani companies can be changed, subject to the approval of other parties.”

According to the requirement, LNG shipment has been lined up. Payment of nine LNG cargoes in January, as many in February, 10 in March and 11 in April has been scheduled and sufficient LNG will be available. Power generating companies have been informed that they may use as much LNG as needed.

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