Ensure uninterrupted gas supply

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WITH each passing year, the gas supply situation unfortunately is getting worse. Previously, there used to be outages only in winter season but over the last one year, the people faced the serious gas shortages in summer season too.

The CNG sector which provides jobs to hundreds and thousands of people is shut for an indefinite period.

Now Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has written a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stating the winter season this year is expected to be harsher due to the continued effects of climate change.

This would, thus, require an extraordinary plan of action to deal with the anticipated gas crisis.

As also stated by KCCI, if this pressing problem is not given due attention, industries will be compelled to either completely shut down their units and move somewhere else, or limit their production according to the gas supply.

This indeed entails serious consequences for the economy which is already in dire straits and the recent floods have further made the situation complex.

The relocation of industries and capital flight from the country will have serious repercussions on the overall economy as well as on exports.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had recently chaired a meeting in the federal capital, directing the authorities concerned to prepare a gas supply plan keeping in view its demand in the winter season.

It is really time to rise above mere lip service and instead of criticizing the previous government for its failure; the incumbents should take steps on an urgent basis to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to both the industrial and domestic consumers.

As a short-term solution, talks should be held with Qatar for immediate import of LNG. Our domestic gas reserves are incessantly on the decline regardless of the fact and studies which indicate that the country still has the potential to produce 200,000 oil barrels per day (BPD) and 1.2 billion cubic feet per day gas by launching exploration and production activities where seepages of oil and gas are found.

Both Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are rich with seepage of petroleum products, which is a low hanging fruit but regrettably, this source has not been exploited.

We will urge the government to come up with a robust policy encouraging oil and gas exploration with focus on tapping the seepage to meet the growing domestic energy requirements.

 

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