Over the past couple of weeks, Pakistan has been going through a national energy crisis, with gas supply being terminated to industries in the country.
Considering this, on 29th June, the Petroleum Division had chalked out a plan to control the shortage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) under which Terminal-II will provide a maximum 600 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) re-gasified LNG during the closure of Terminal-1.
In the statement released on 29th, the division said that normal supplies from the first terminal will resume from July 5, and the total supply from both terminals will be 1,152 MMCFD.
In the meantime, it had asked the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies to enhance their production within possible limit.
According to sources, positively responding to the Petroleum Division’s request for enhancing gas production to mitigate gas shortages due to outage of LNG terminal, Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) has played its due role by supplying around 40 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) gas to the national grid from Mari field on fast track basis.
MPCL made this possible by utilizing the undrawn gas volumes by CPGCL/GENCO-II through optimizing its gas production capacity.
This is a very positive step by the company as the country is going through a crisis due to the Dry Docking of the RLNG terminal which was started on Wednesday and resulted in suspension of gas supply to the power sector for two days.
This caused a problem as according to national media, the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) stopped supplies to CNG till July 5 in view of the lingering shortfall of 160 mmcfd due to the annual turnaround of the Kunnar Pasakhi Deep (KPD) gas field.
However, the Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar said in the press conference on Friday that 40 percent regasification of RLNG from the replacement ship has been achieved 2 days ahead of schedule, and said that by 3rd July, 70 percent RLNG supply would be acheived.
Dry Docking of RLNG terminal update:
Change over of ships completed on time on Wednesday.
40% regasifaction of RLNG from the replacement ship has been achieved 2 days ahead of schedule.
We are targeting 70% restoration of RLNG supply by tomorrow InshAllah.
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) July 2, 2021
Additionally, the gas plant of SSGC was on routine maintenance while Tarbela was also on 20-25 percent capacity due to decrease water inflow in the dams.
Government has been blamed for ineffecient management leading to RLNG supply shortage, and the petroleum secretary in a recent standing committee meeting blamed the National Accountability Bureau for disincentivizing the government from taking decisions leading to such problems in the long term.
Read More: Hammad Azhar gives hope amidst RLNG crisis
NAB blamed for limiting government
Reporting the petroleum sector’s circular debt at about Rs1.2 trillion, the petroleum division on Wednesday said the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) “brutal act” was causing a heavy cost to the economy and needed to be reined in to let the country achieve its potential.
Reportedly, the Petroleum Secretary Dr Arshad Mahmood, while testifying before the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum, said that NAB had dispossessed the government officials of the initiative to take decisions.
Giving a few examples, the secretary said the government was unable to utilize 200 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of spare capacity at the LNG terminals because of fear of NAB.
Dawn reported him saying, “This gas can generate 1,200mw of electricity but we are unable to handle it,” he said, adding that as a solution, the government could facilitate some private companies like K-Electric to use the surplus capacity and conclude the deal without any government guarantee. “I am getting its due diligence done.”
Dr Mahmood listed other examples where NAB’s fear led to government officers being deterred from taking much-needed timely decisions, leading to crisis.
Most of the senators agreed that the accountability watchdog was causing more damage to the country’s business environment and economy than the benefits it was envisaged for.
They asked the petroleum secretary to come up with recommendations for a way out, which they would be ready to take to the parliament for a solution.