Chilly times: Oil ministry to approach PM for gas outages plan

Suggests stopping supply to CNG, industrial, commercial and power consumers.

Zafar Bhutta December 05, 2013
The plan entails suspension of gas supply to compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, industrial and commercial units and some power plants in Punjab. PHOTO: FILE


The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is planning to send a summary to the prime minister to win his approval for the gas load management plan for winter months, which suggests stopping gas supply to different consumers.

The plan entails suspension of gas supply to compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, industrial and commercial units and some power plants in Punjab, which have no supply agreements, in a bid to ensure uninterrupted supply to domestic consumers, says a senior government official.

The ministry is taking the step after the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, in a meeting held recently, did not take a decision on its summary, calling for approval of the gas outages plan. The apex economic decision-making body instead asked the ministry to get the go-ahead from the prime minister, sources said.

According to the official, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had earlier briefed the premier about the plan, therefore, the ECC was of the view that the ministry should approach the prime minister for a decision.

When approached, the spokesman for the petroleum ministry confirmed that they are sending the summary of the gas load management plan to the prime minister.

According to the programme, CNG and industrial sectors in Punjab will continue to get gas in the first week of December, but from the second week until the end of March next year gas will not be supplied to the CNG, industrial, commercial and power sectors. However, those power plants that have firm gas supply agreements with the government will continue to receive gas.

“Owing to a sharp increase in gas demand, only domestic consumers will enjoy the supplies, but they will get gas at cooking time in January and February when shortage will hit its peak,” the official said.

In Punjab, the crippling gas shortage would continue even in April and the CNG and industrial consumers might receive gas for only one day in a week, the official added.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, gas supply to CNG and industrial consumers will be suspended for two to three days a week and in Sindh the CNG, industrial and power sectors will face outages for two to four days.

However, in Balochistan, all sectors will enjoy continuous supply and there will be no gas load-shedding.

According to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited’s estimates, total demand for gas in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will be 2.46 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in December, 2.7 bcfd in January, 2.55 bcfd in February and 2.29 bcfd in March.

In contrast, SNGPL will be able to provide 1.23 to 1.24 bcfd in these four months. In this period, the company is feared to lose 205 to 207 mmcfd because of gas theft.

In Punjab, gas demand will be in the range of 1.85 to 1.978 bcfd whereas Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will need 260 to 315 mmcfd.

On the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) network, the demand in Sindh and Balochistan will be in the range of 1.28 to 1.361 bcfd with shortfall projected at 276 to 362 mmcfd.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2013.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read