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Worsening gas crisis

The gas crisis is worsening as winter gets harsher. The gas supply has been stopped for industries till January 2021 and domestic consumers are worried that they will be affected by the gas shortages.

The crisis set to worsen as the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) will face a shortage of 500 mmcfd and will be left with no option but to close down Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) supply to the power sector.

Pakistan was expected to receive LNG cargo from Nigeria which has been delayed. As a result, the gas crisis has aggravated in Balochistan and Sindh as Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) is not able to retain RLNG supply of 200 mmcfd which has further worsened the gas crisis in Karachi and Quetta. In Lahore and other parts of Punjab, people have also complained to be facing gas shortages.

Many people purchase LNG to cater to their domestic needs but the gas crisis has reached an extent where people have started receiving gas with lower pressure and started using food as fuel. The government claims it will receive six cargoes next month but this is uncertain as it is unlikely that any country will be willing to provide gas when winters are at their peak.

As a result, CNG stations are being closed in Sindh and Balochistan for at least two days a week and gas supply to stations is being suspended in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. Low gas pressure at homes has left families freezing, hungry and worried and they will have to endure a long, dark and chilling winter.

This major gas crisis was expected after no bids were received for the first time from LNG suppliers for the first half of January. Yet the Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar claimed that all is well and the government has a plan to avoid a gas crisis.

In such circumstances, the government has no one to blame for the ongoing gas crisis. This will be a disaster for the industry which has already been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is now been worsened by mismanagement and sheer incompetence.