Man­ag­ing Gas

Enterprise - - ENERGY -

The avail­abil­ity of sus­tain­able en­ergy will be one of the most im­por­tant is­sues for Pak­istan’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment over the next decade. Pak­istan’s en­ergy re­quire­ment is in­creas­ing rapidly ev­ery year. The pri­mary en­ergy con­sump­tion in Pak­istan has grown by al­most 80 per­cent in the past 15 years from 34 mil­lion tonnes oil equiv­a­lent (TOE) in 1994-95 to 61 mil­lion TOE in 2009-10.

Cur­rently the coun­try’s en­ergy sup­ply comes pri­mar­ily from in­dige­nous nat­u­ral gas which is 45 per­cent of the en­ergy mix and oil im­ports at 35 per­cent of the en­ergy mix, with the bal­ance com­ing from hy­del power at 12 per­cent, coal at 6 per­cent and nu­clear en­ergy at 2 per­cent of the mix.

Nat­u­ral gas has pro­vided ma­jor sup­port for Pak­istan’s eco­nomic growth over the past sev­eral decades. Pak­istan’s con­ven­tional gas re­serves are, how­ever, de­clin­ing and the coun­try needs to en­hance its ca­pa­bil­ity for ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion of off­shore and un­con­ven­tional gas re­serves and to ar­range sig­nif­i­cant gas im­ports via pipe­lines and as liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG).

The cur­rent “cir­cu­lar debt” is also a ma­jor is­sue for the en­ergy sec­tor and has be­come a sig­nif­i­cant bar­rier for en­ergy de­vel­op­ment in Pak­istan. It was in this back­drop that cus­tomers of Sui South­ern Gas Com­pany (SSGC) were sub­jected to sub­stan­tial gas short­age for 22 days, from April 11 to May 4, when an­nual main­te­nance of Bhit gas field was un­der­taken and the com­pany could not sup­ply gas to the af­fected con­sumers from an al­ter­nate gas field.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence, SSGC Deputy Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Azim Iqbal Siddiqui said that gas sup­ply to in­dus­tries, the fer­tiliser sec­tor, CNG sta­tions and the Karachi Elec­tric Sup­ply Cor­po­ra­tion (KESC) was to be cur­tailed as a re­sult of the 22 days loss of sup­ply from Bhit, which is among the three ma­jor gas fields of SSGC. It pro­duces more than 31 per­cent of the com­pany’s to­tal gas. To­tal sales of the com­pany stand at 1,100 mil­lion cu­bic feet per day (mm­cfd), of which Bhit pro­duces 345 mm­cfd.

“SSGC has tried its best to main­tain the max­i­mum gas sup­ply to its cus­tomers dur­ing the main­te­nance pe­riod of the Bhit gas field; how­ever, we are fac­ing the need to share this pain col­lec­tively,” he said. In­dus­tries are SSGC’s big­gest cus­tomers, with con­sump­tion of 310 mm­cfd. SSGC dis­cussed the mat­ter with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the var­i­ous in­dus­trial as­so­ci­a­tions. KESC is nor­mally pro­vided 180 mm­cfd, which was re­duced to around 100 mm­cfd due to the main­te­nance. CNG sta­tions use 74 mm­cfd, but were pro­vided only 64 mm­cfd.

The SSGC deputy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor also met rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the fer­tiliser sec­tor, which was se­verely hit as gas sup­ply was re­duced to 40 mm­cfd from 85 mm­cfd.

Siddiqui re­quested do­mes­tic con­sumers to re­duce their gas con­sump­tion dur­ing main­te­nance pe­riod. “Our do­mes­tic con­sumers will be un­af­fected in this main­te­nance,” he said, adding that do­mes­tic con­sumers could eas­ily save 10 mm­cfd, which would greatly help the com­pany. The share of do­mes­tic con­sumers in gas con­sump­tion is around 187 mm­cfd

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