Exacerbating gas crisis


GAS shortage in winter season is a bitter reality that consumers have been braving over the last many years. It is unfortunate that there is no respite in sight as the situation is worsening with each passing year due to complete neglect on part of successive governments and decline in local production.
The current winter is proving to be the worst vis-à-vis availability of gas mainly because of government’s indecisiveness to timely import LNG. The situation is not likely to improve even in the month of February as reportedly the Dubai based Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has backed out of its commitment to provide LNG to Pakistan. The ENOC that had won an LNG cargo for February 23-24 delivery, with lowest bid at $ 11.70 per MMBTU, has conveyed to Pakistan LNG Limited that it won’t be able to provide the cargo. It definitely has put our authorities concerned in a state of shock, as the denial will further exacerbate gas crisis in the country. Firstly, there is a need to engage with Dubai based company and asking it to adhere to the commitment. In the current scenario, it is also important that additional cargoes be arranged immediately from other sources keeping in view demand.
The gas crisis has brought the life to standstill. It is not only affecting domestic consumers but also industrial production. In order to avert such a situation next winter, PTI government must do his homework and prepare a proper plan to ensure availability of gas. There is no doubt that exploration activities were ignored in the past and even if they started now, it will take time to bring local gas into the system. Therefore, we must accept the reality that LNG import is the only viable solution available to cater to country’s requirements. Work must also be expedited on trans-national projects such as TAPI including gas import from Iran. These projects will help ensure energy security.

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