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Gas crisis looms as line pressure at dangerous level

Gas crisis looms as line pressure at dangerous level

PakistanTimesNews The nation’s system line pack is producing 5.070 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), which puts tremendous strain on the state’s gas transmission infrastructure.

This is mostly due to the increased usage of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, in the electrical and industrial sectors. Even after summer officially ends, sui gas providers sell expensive RLNG to the domestic market in an effort to lower line pack pressure.

Reports Regarding Gas

It has been revealed by senior officials in the energy ministry that this will lead to more price rises for gas sold nationwide. “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,” said the officials. “The maximum gas volume in the pipeline is 4,500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).”

Over the Eid holiday, the line pack kept rising above the dead level, peaking at 5.003 bcfd in the last week of March 2024. A daily injection of 50–100 mmcfd of RLNG is being sent to the domestic sector in order to capitalize on the declining line pack pressure. Originally, 150–250 mmcfd were to be diverted for the residential area.

It is true that when pressures in the line pack exceed five bcfd, the system becomes fairly sensitive. The authorities claim that even though domestic gas demand has drastically decreased in Punjab and Sindh as summer approaches and gas is no longer needed for heating in the two aforementioned federating units, Sui Company finds it easier to transport RLNG to the domestic sector.

Gas Sui

Domestic customers must thus pay a significant premium to compensate for the RLNG diversion. The government only needed to raise Rs701 billion in revenue for the current fiscal year, but in order to reach its income target of Rs902 billion in 2023–2024, it has already raised gas prices by up to 193%. Thus, customers will bear the estimated Rs232 billion in LNG diversion expenses.

Sui Northern’s continuous diversion of RLNG to ease strain on line packs is opposed by officials in the petroleum division, yet Sui Company persists in doing so. Even at Rs 3,700 per litre, RLNG is less expensive than gas, which many affluent domestic users purchase for Rs 4,200 per litre.

In addition, the gas flow from five nearby gas sources has been limited by the government to 150 mmcfd. It is possible to cause virtually empty wells to sink and never raise back to their original natural gas flow level, even if doing so to safeguard the gas transmission system may cause problems. The artificial lift techniques required to start these wells producing water will be quite expensive. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to continue producing local gas at the existing rate when local gas resources start to yield less gas.

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