The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has reported a further drop of 40 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas in its system from two production fields, widening the gap between the demand and supply of the fuel in the current winter season to over 300mmcfd on Saturday.
“SSGC is facing a cumulative drop of 40mmcfd from Bhit and Sawan gas fields since Saturday morning due to technical faults,” SSGC reported on Saturday.
“The drop has badly affected the SSGC (supply) systems.”
The decline occurred at a time when the demand for gas is high in Sindh and Balochistan. Due to a drop in temperatures, people of the two provinces are using gas-based geysers and heaters to keep their homes warm.
Operators of the fields have initiated repair and maintenance work on the production sites. “However, they have given no timeline for normalisation of supplies from the fields.” An official added in the evening that supplies were expected to normalise soon.
He said that gap between demand and supply of the gas widened to 302 mmcfd on Saturday compared to 262 mmcfd earlier. “SSGC is supplying 963 mmfcd to its 3 million customers in the two provinces against the demand of 1,265 mmcfd these days.”
He said that the utility company was supplying gas to all customers “except CNG fuel stations and captive power plants of non-export oriented industries.” Residential customers remained a top priority of the company under the state guided policies, “as gas remains a lifeline for people especially during the winter season,” he said.
Besides, it has managed to supply gas to export industries, fertiliser manufacturers and commercial users on its network. SSGC has continued to face surge in shortfall in supplies from the domestic fields in the wake of 8-9% annual drop in output from them. Moreover, the oil and gas exploration firms have made no meaningful discovery of new gas deposits for about two decades.
The situation at Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) is similar. SNGPL supplies gas in the remaining two provinces ie Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2022.