KARACHI: Pakistan is facing shortage of gas supply which will further increase in future, and the gap between the supply and demand is expected to increase to the tune of 4,600 MMCFD in FY 2022-23 and 6,700 MMCFD by the FY 2027-28 without the imported gas, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) said in its State of Industry Report 2017-18.

“The possible gap can be bridged through enhancement in indigenous gas exploration and production through incentivizing this sector, import of interstate natural gas (through development of cross-country gas pipelines) and increased import of LNG,” it said.

Natural gas is a major contributing fuel in country’s energy mix having a share of 48 percent. Natural gas supplies during the year were 4,357 MMCFD. Sindh supplied 50 percent to the total gas supplies, whereas Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab supplied 12, 11 and 4 percent respectively. The remaining 23 percent of gas was imported in the form LNG.

The gas utility companies have added 678,872 new consumers to their network during FY 2017-18. The total gas consumers were more than 9.2 million by the end of FY 2017-18. There were 6.3 million and 2.9 million consumers on SNGPL and SSGCL network respectively.

Power sector was the main consumer of natural gas during FY 2017-18, consuming 37 percent followed by domestic sector 20 percent, fertilizer 17 percent, captive power 10 percent, industrial sector 9 percent, transport 5 percent, and commercial sector having 2 percent share. The province wise gas consumption reveals that Punjab share was the highest with 50 percent, followed by Sindh 39 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 9 percent and Balochistan 2 percent during the year under review.

“Due to rising demand from various sectors particularly power, domestic, fertilizer, captive power and industry the supplies are not sufficient enough to cater this demand. The demand-supply gap during FY 2017-18 was 1,447 MMCFD, this gap is expected to rise to 3,720 MMCFD by FY 2019-20,” OGRA said

The report noted there is a significant rise in demand and consumption of gas by residential and domestic consumers owing to price differential vis-a-vis other competing fuels, i.e. LPG, fire wood and coal.

On average, during the last 5 years, more than 0.3 million consumers were added/connected to gas network, annually by the gas utility companies. Ogra noted the positive growth of sectors, such as power, commercial, residential and fertilizer has resulted in natural gas availability constraint.

Pakistan produces around 4000 MMCFD (4 bcfd) of indigenous natural gas against demand of over 6000 MMCFD (6bcfd). The authority notes the addition of new LNG Regasification Terminals and respective enhancement of pipeline capacities of gas utility companies of the country shall open up new business avenues and help diversifying Pakistan’s energy basket.