ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (APP): A newly laid 17-kilometer pipeline from the Port Qasim to Pakland in Karachi is being hydro-tested to inject additional gas supply in the system of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) aimed at meeting the increased commodity demand during the peak winter season.

“The pipeline will be commissioned very soon. This will further facilitate the flow of Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) and reduce the possibility of gas shortages in the country,” official sources told APP.

The 30-inch dia pipeline has been laid from the Custody Transfer Station (CTS) of RLNG at the Bin Qasim [Qasim Port Karachi] to Sales Meter Station Pakland where the SSGC transmission network is available for injecting the RLNG.

They said the SSGC had been requesting the Sindh government for more than one-and-a-half years to give the ‘Right of Way’ for laying the pipeline in Karachi, which it managed to secure recently and started work on the pipeline without any delay on war footing.

The sources said the company, which is mainly responsible for supplying gas in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, was making all-out efforts to ensure smooth supply of gas to its consumers throughout the year.

“This year, around 160 MMCFD (Million Cubic Feet per Day ) gas is expected to be short supplied from the fields and the SSGC will face [overall] shortage of around 250-300 MMCFD gas this winter. This shortfall will be met by injecting RLNG in the system,” according to an official document.

During the last winter, the SSGC was getting an average 1,145 MMCFD gas supply from its 25 operational fields, which has reduced to 985 MMCFD in 2020-21 due to depletion of the hydrocarbon deposits, curtailing the supply by 160 MMCFD gas.

Currently, as many as two LNG terminals were operating in the country and injecting around 1200 MMCFD gas in the national transmission system, which greatly helped in bridging the gap between demand and supply of the gas.

Pakistan’s indigenous gas production is around 3.7 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) against the demand of 6 BCFD, while the existing reserves are depleting at the rate of 9.5 percent annually and unfortunately oil and gas Exploration & Production companies made no significant discovery since long.

Realizing the present and future needs of gas, the government is encouraging private sector players in the LNG business under its ease-of-doing-business plan.

The strategy has started yielding good results as two multinational companies are planning to start physical work on setting up their LNG terminals during next few months, while another local company is flexing muscles to start import of the commodity at the earliest.