Another looming gas crisis

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ANOTHER gas crisis is most likely to hit the country again in months of September and October as government has refused to purchase eight spot LNG cargoes for these months because of higher rates.

According to Petroleum Division officials, the global LNG market right now is too bullish and driving the prices to higher side.

However, they said government will continue to monitor market trends and if prices start tumbling, re-tendering for LNG will be done.

Earlier this month also, country had faced a gas-cum-electricity crisis due to various reasons including annual Turn Around of a gas field in Sindh and low hydel generation from Tarbela Dam.

This energy shortage including that of gas has become a serious problem for the country and top authorities need to put their heads together and firm up a plan to address it on permanent basis. Otherwise it will continue to impede our industrial growth and economic progress.

Pakistan was once gas surplus country but due to extravagant use and less focus on exploration, we became gas scarce so much so that people today are faced with gas load-shedding even during summer months. Heavy reliance on import of gas is also putting extra burden on our foreign exchange.

Anyway, government must ensure timely imports so that there is no gas crisis in ensuing months. We must now look for permanent solutions.

As the US is heading for reviving nuclear deal with Iran, we must also sit with Iranian authorities and work towards reviving the gas pipeline project that will prove to be more cost effective for us. Secondly, we need to enhance our domestic production.

According to the US Geological Survey, Pakistan has natural gas resources of 24.6 trillion cubic feet. Considering this, if government focuses on stepping up indigenous production, we can significantly cut our import bill.

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