The Regassified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) is playing a vital role in bridging the gap between demand and supply of natural gas, which is increasing gradually due to depletion of existing hydrocarbon reserves and non-discovery of any major gas deposit since long. Currently, around 12,000 Million Cubic Feet Per Day (MMCFD) RLNG is being added in distribution system of both Sui Northern Gas Company Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company for onward supply to consumers, a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told APP.
The country, he said, at present had two LNG re-gasification terminals at Port Qasim in Karachi, having total capacity 1,440 mmcfd gas, while the Economic Coordination Committee had recently approved a resolution of the board of Port Qasim Authority allowing amendment in its master plan to accommodate the prospective 3rd LNG terminal. The official said the government was also working to increase import of the LNG so that projected demand-surge in next winter could be met with additional injection of the LNG in the transmission network.
Quoting an official figure, he said, the country’s indigenous gas production was witnessing five to seven percent decrease annually, projecting shortage of the commodity by 3.7 Billion Cubic Feet Per Day (BCFD) in the current year and 6.6 BCFD by year 2028, if not contained. In the year 2019-20, he said, the projected gas demand would be around 7 BCFD. Answering a question, the official said the government had devised a prudent strategy to accelerate oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country, under which new exploration blocks were being awarded through open bidding process.
He regretted that the previous government showed negligence by not awarding new exploration blocks to meet ever-growing energy needs of the country. He said the Petroleum division had recently held bidding for 10 exploration blocks, out of which eight had been awarded to qualified bidders. While, bidding for 15 to 20 more blocks had been planned by end of this year with an aim to step up oil and gas exploration activities and achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector.
Besides, he said, the government was preparing a summary for creation of new oil and gas exploration block in potential areas of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan. Accordingly, a summary would be presented before the Council of Common Interests for approval, he added.
Explaining the existing exploration licensing zones, the official said the country had been divided into four zones, consisting of West Balochistan-Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar, East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins, Lower Indus Basins and Indus & Makran Basins. Currently the country’s total sedimentary area is around 827,268 square kilometers (KM2), out of which 320, 741 KM or 39 percent of the area is under exploration.—APP