Outflow from two gas fields cut to ensure flow of imported LNG

ISLAMABAD: To ensure the smooth flow of expensive imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the gas network, the government has discontinued production of cheap gas from the Sui field in Balochistan and Nashpa field in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and drastically reduced production from the Qadirpur gas field in Sindh.

The action of the massive shutdown of over 327 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) from these sources was necessitated to overcome capacity constraints, informed a senior petroleum ministry official.

On the other hand, the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had been unable to discharge its redefined liquefied natural gas (RLNG) cargo from Gunvor. It may be hit by a $5 million penalty today, on a “take or pay” basis.

The cost of domestic gas supply is currently less than $5 per mmbtu, compared to more than double the cost of imported LNG at around $11.

The power and petroleum divisions are administratively controlled by the energy ministry, led by Federal Minister Omar Ayub Khan and assisted by the Prime Minister’s Adviser Nadeem Babar.

Both PSO and SNGPL have complained about lower than committed gas off-take by the power sector as this has caused issues to arise.

The reduced gas consumption has resulted in an increase in system pack which has reached 4925mmcfd on Aug 1 and then slightly reduced with the closure of domestic fields. The gas companies claimed that four major power plants — Haveli Bahadur Shah, Balloki, Bhikki and Kapco — were taking only 66 per cent gas against their own orders, while the entire power sector consumed about 630mmcfd against their allocations of about 830mmcfd.

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