Gas crisis looms as line pressure

PakistanTimesNews The state’s gas transmission infrastructure is heavily strained by the 5.070 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) produced by the country’s system line pack.

This is largely because the industrial and electrical sectors are using more liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Sui gas providers keep supplying pricey RLNG to the domestic market even after summer officially ends in an effort to ease pressure on the line pack.

Reports pertaining to Gas

Senior officials in the ministry of energy expect further price increases for gas sold across the country as a result of this. “If the gas volume increases beyond this limit, the gas transmission system can burst at any time, exposing the nation to a gas and electricity crisis,” stated the officials. “The maximum gas volume in the pipeline is 4,500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).”

The line pack continued to rise above the dead level during the Eid break, reaching a peak in the final week of March 2024 at 5.003 bcfd. To take advantage of the decreasing line pack pressure, the domestic sector is receiving a daily injection of 50–100 mmcfd of RLNG. 150–250 mmcfd were initially intended to be diverted for the residential area.

It is true that the system becomes fairly sensitive when pressures in the line pack surpass five bcfd. The authorities assert that Sui Company finds it easier to transfer RLNG to the domestic sector even though domestic gas demand has sharply declined in Punjab and Sindh as summer approaches and gas is no longer required for heating in the two aforementioned federating units.

Gas Sui

Domestic users are consequently required to pay a substantial premium in order to offset the RLNG diversion. The government has already increased gas prices by up to 193% in order to meet its income target of Rs902 billion in 2023–2024, even though it only needed to earn Rs701 billion in revenue for the current fiscal year. Customers will therefore be responsible for the anticipated Rs232 billion in LNG diversion costs.

Officials in the petroleum division object to Sui Northern’s ongoing diversion of RLNG to relieve pressure on line packs, but Sui Company continues to do so. Compared to gas, which many well-to-do family consumers buy for Rs 4,200 per litre, even at Rs 3,700 per litre, RLNG is less expensive.

Furthermore, the government has set a 150 mmcfd gas flow limit for five local gas sources. Despite the possible issues this may pose, practically empty wells may be made to sink and never rise back to their initial natural gas flow level in order to protect the gas transmission infrastructure. Large sums of money will need to be spent on artificial lift techniques before these wells can start producing water. Therefore, when local gas resources begin to yield less gas, it is very risky to continue producing local gas at the current rate.

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