ISLAMABAD: With an addition of 300,000 gas consumers every year, the country’s gas shortage is estimated to touch four billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) — almost equal to current total supplies — in two years and will go beyond 6.6bcfd by 2030.
The projection has been made by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) in its “State of the Industry Report 2016-17”. The report also noted a 16 per cent surge in petroleum consumption owing to an increase in the number of cars and motorbikes and lower oil prices as the overall oil consumption rose by 10pc.
“The shortfall in gas is expected to reach 3.999bcfd by the fiscal year 2019-20 and the gap will reach 6.611bcfd without imported gas by 2029-30,” Ogra said. It noted a significant rise in demand and consumption of gas by residential and domestic consumers owing to price differential vis-à-vis other competing fuels — liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), firewood and coal.
Over the past five years, more than 300,000 consumers had been added to the gas network annually by gas companies and the growth in power, commercial and residential and fertiliser sectors resulted in a shortage, the report said, adding that “the demand for natural gas will further increase in the coming years…It is forecast that due to ever-increasing demand for gas, Pakistan will face a deficit in gas supply”.
300,000 consumers are added to the system every year
The power sector (including captive power) remained the main gas consumer, accounting for around 43pc share, followed by residential and fertiliser sectors with 21pc each.
The province-wise figures showed that Punjab and Sindh remained the major gas consumers with about 47pc and 43pc shares respectively. On the production front, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa contributed 56pc, 13pc and 12pc shares respectively. The share of re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) was 16pc.
As of June 30 last year, the cumulative transmission network of the two gas utilities — SSGCL and SNGPL — stood at 3,973km and 8,975km and distribution network at 45,521km and 110,217km, respectively. The two utilities provided new gas connection to 486,418 consumers and their cumulative consumer base stood at 8.576 million.
The import of LNG was declared by Ogra as a major success, among various measures being taken to bridge the gap between demand and supply. “Development of two LNG handling terminals (each having re-gasification capacity of 650mmcfd) at Karachi Port is a major milestone achieved to mitigate gas shortages in the country. During the year, total supply of natural gas in the country, including imported RLNG, reached 4.131bcfd.
Ogra said the total LPG supply touched 1.209 million tonnes. The domestic, commercial and industrial sectors consumed 37pc, 36pc and 27pc respectivley.
Gas-producing fields and imports together contributed 42pc each and refineries 16pc. The LPG supply increased to 3,029 tonnes per day in 2016-17 from 2,801 tonnes in 2015-16, while consumption rose to 3,313 tonnes from 3,055 tonnes.
According to Ogra, consumption of petroleum products registered a growth of 9.7pc (26 million tonnes) during the fiscal year 2016-17, compared to 5.2pc (23.7 million tonnes) in 2015-16. The main drivers of increased consumption were transport and power sectors with 12pc and 10pc respectively.
Consumption of petrol in the transport sector saw an increase of 16pc due to the growing number of motorcycles and cars. Similarly, consumption of high speed diesel (HSD) grew by 10pc, mainly because of higher utilisation by the transport sector, indicating increased economic activities in the country.
The transport and power sectors consumed almost 90pc of total petroleum oil lubricant, sharing 57pc and 33pc respectively.
The Pakistan State Oil remained the lead player in total energy products supply to consumers with 55pc market share, followed by Shell (9pc), Attock Petroleum Limited (8pc), Hascol Private Limited (8pc), Total Parco Marketing Limited (4pc) and Total Parco Pakistan Limited (4pc). Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited and other oil marketing companies contributed 3pc and 8pc shares, respectively.
Local demands for HSD, petrol, furnace oil and jet fuels are mostly met through imports — 73pc petrol, 69pc furnace oil, 46pc HSD and 14pc jet fuel — as domestic production is not enough to meet the requirements.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2018