Cabinet likely to ratify gas load management plan for winter

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet is likely to ratify the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE)’s decision regarding natural gas load management for the ongoing winter season during its upcoming meeting to be held on Tuesday.

Sources informed this scribe that the CCoE, in its meeting held on 26th November, had approved natural gas load management plan for winter season with certain directions that “there will be no planned curtailment for domestic sector in Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) systems”, and that “there will be no planned curtailment of gas supply to export industry”.

However, in case of an emergency, supply to captive power units of export-based industry may be curtailed for one day a week at the end of December 2020-beginning of January 2021. Similarly, gas supply to general industry and captive units of general industry (non-export) may be curtailed as needed from mid-December 2020 to end of January 2021.

According to CCoE, the supply for compressed natural gas (CNG) sector may be on ‘as and when available’ basis.

Sources said the CCoE has asked the Petroleum Division to place before the cabinet details of economic costs of diversion of gas from power sector and industry, besides measures to improve the mechanism of [gas] supplies.

The division has planned to supply additional re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to the tune of 150 to 200MMCFD during Dec-Jan to meet its shortfall of up to 250MMCFD, sources said, adding that the balance shortfall would be mitigated through load management of gas supply to CNG and industry/captive (non-export).

Officials of the Petroleum Division, on the condition of anonymity, said they have been making important interventions to manage gas supplies during winter, which included diversion of gas and revival of shut-in wells.

They said that the division has so far made arrangements for additional LNG cargo for the month of January 2021 so that both LNG terminals could operate at optimum level. It has also undertaken retrieval of natural gas from shut-in wells by work-over/overhauling and allocation of volumes by the end of December 2020, which include up to 90MMCFD for SSGCL and 16MMCFD for SNGPL, respectively.

In addition, the division has made arrangement of additional gas from Mari Petroleum Company Limited for injection into SNGPL system on ‘as and available basis’ i.e. up to 15MMCFD (phase-I) in December 2020 and up to 50MMCFD (phase-II) by early January 2021, subject to installation of compression facility by MPCL.

On a question related to production of gas in Sindh, officials said that the province produced 2.1 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) gas, of which about 1.8BCFD was consumed in the province while approximately 250MMCFD was diverted to Punjab. This diversion was compensated by supply of up to 200MMCFD of RLNG.

Ahmad Ahmadani
Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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