Annual maintenance: Gas shortages may worsen as fields are shut down

Published: June 18, 2013
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At present, total production of gas in the country stands at 4.2 mmcfd, of which 633 mmcfd will be taken off the system during field maintenance from June to August. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

At present, total production of gas in the country stands at 4.2 mmcfd, of which 633 mmcfd will be taken off the system during field maintenance from June to August. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

ISLAMABAD: 

The gas shortage is likely to worsen in the coming months, following a drop of over 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in supply from a number of fields as a result of annual maintenance work. The exercise may result in the further curtailment of fuel supply to power plants, industrial units and compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations.

Gas supply to the power, industrial and CNG sectors will be further restricted as and when required keeping in view the position of producing fields.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which were earlier exempted from the gas load management programme being implemented by the distributors – Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company – can also face gas shortages after supply is stopped from fields that will be undergoing an annual turnaround in the ongoing and coming months, officials say.

The fields where maintenance work will get under way are being operated by exploration companies such as MOL, BHP Petroleum, POLO, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, PEL, Oil and Gas Development Company and OMV.

At present, total production of gas in the country stands at 4.2 mmcfd, of which 633 mmcfd will be taken off the system during field maintenance from June to August.

Officials reveal that the gap between supply and demand has started widening following start of maintenance in gas producing fields of Manzalai and Makori, operated by MOL and connected with SNGPL’s system. OMV’s Sawan and Tajjal fields and BHP’s Zamzama field are also scheduled to stop supply for annual turnaround this month.

According to the officials, in an effort to cope with the increasing shortfall, SNGPL has reduced gas supply to the independent power plants (IPPs) around Lahore from 133 mmcfd to 76 mmcfd with effect from June 15.

Industrial units and CNG stations are facing additional one-day gas outage apart from existing curtailment for four days a week.

Estimates show that natural gas contributes around 48% to the primary energy mix. However, the country is experiencing a severe scarcity of gas because of persistent imbalance between demand and supply on the back of depleting gas reserves and a consistent rise in demand.

The shortage in SNGPL’s system is more damaging than that in SSGC’s network due to the former’s over-stretched network, large number of consumers and new gas supply schemes on which work is underway.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jun 19, 2013 - 12:20AM

    ET, is there any good news in Pakistan or not?

    Every news is related to human suffering.

    When we be able to hear good news every day?

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  • Turd
    Jun 19, 2013 - 12:48AM

    “At present, total production of gas in the country stands at 4.2 mmcfd, of which 633 mmcfd will be taken off the system during field maintenance from June to August.”………..Only if it was so easy to flout simple laws of arithmetic we would have solved our power crisis! You have interesting people there, express tribune. Would love to study some of these!

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  • Nadir
    Jun 19, 2013 - 1:17AM

    This is yet another conspiracy! Why is maintenance required when these fields are ripe for expoloitation of Pakistan’s strategic resources?

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  • A. Khan
    Jun 19, 2013 - 7:30AM

    This is utter nonsense on the part of the companies who supply the gas. Does the West shut down its gas and oil supplies to industry when carrying out maintenance ? And if this is a must, cannot the maintenance be staggered so all suppliers are not offline at the same time thereby reducing the impact to industrial and retail consumers ?

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  • Jun 19, 2013 - 10:57AM

    At present, total production of gas in the country stands at 4.2 mmcfd, of which 633 mmcfd will be taken off the system during field maintenance from June to August.
    It should be 4.2 bcf I believe!

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  • Gemini
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:02PM

    These CNG stations have worsen the situation of natural gas in Pakistan, they should be shut down as soon as possible.

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  • Masood
    Jun 20, 2013 - 7:36AM

    Goby should negotiate with companies to undertake these repairs after Ramadhan… At least they should respect religion, if not scorching heats

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