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Meeting 485mmcfd demand for gas: Closure of CNG sector to shoot up oil imports

Meeting 485mmcfd demand for gas: Closure of CNG sector to shoot up oil imports

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Ministry, in its proposal, submitted to the Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has feared that the suspension of gas supply to the CNG sector will shoot up oil’s import bill substantially.

As per reports, the Petroleum Ministry argued that gas supply suspension would increase the country’s oil imports to meet the existing 485 mmcfd gas supply to CNG.

The ministry, however, claimed that the country could save $1.4 billion if LNG replaced CNG. Reports citing figure, mention that gas supply to CNG sector was around half of the demand which stands at 243 mmcfd against the demand of 478 mmcfd. The number of CNG stations in Punjab stands at 2292 with 300 mmcfd demand, however, supply is 93 mmcfd two days a week. Gas supply to 593 CNG stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa is 68 mmcfd for seven days against the demand of 78 mmcfd. In Sindh there are 612 CNG stations that are supplied 78 mmcfd five days a week against the demand of 97 mmcfd. Gas supply to 20 CNG stations in Balochistan stood at four mmcfd.

The ministry informed that the ECC that supply of gas to CNG sector would further decrease in the coming years and most likely be completely cut off during next winter. As such survival of the industry, in the absence of gas supply, is difficult. If this industry is shut, vehicles equipped with CNG kits will have no option but to use petrol, which will entail significant increase in oil imports of the country. If petrol is going to replace equivalent of gas consumed by the CNG sector annually, it will have an impact on the country’s oil import bill.

The ministry maintains that there is urgent need to take steps for the survival of CNG industry as it provides financial relief to general public by providing low-cost transportation fuel for passenger vehicles (both public and private) and carriage for goods.