DR Asim Hussain, minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, has, in a recent interview, said the natural gas crisis has cropped up as a result of its use as CNG fuel. The CNG sector consumes nine per cent of the total gas available for distribution.

According to his own admission in the interview, the gas shortage is more than 40 per cent of the supply. Even if all the CNG is shut down, we still have a shortage of over 30 per cent, according to the admission made by our knowledgeable adviser. How can a responsible functionary of the government give such a rash statement in the same breath?

It is well-known that the country is about to experience the worst - ever natural gas crisis this winter. That is exactly what we are seeing. CNG has been very skillfully put out of action to manage the enhanced winter load from the domestic sector.

While this is the case in Punjab, the case in Sindh is a little different. Here the CNG sector has been agonised because of the compulsion of diverting the gas to nonpaying, noncompliant KESC in the garb of saving Karachi from darkness, though the KESC can use furnace oil as an alternative fuel. But why should they when they are getting five times cheaper fuel and that too free! As they owe the SSGC Rs44bn.

For some strange reason the adviser is satisfied with this arrangement.

Although CNG station owners have been pushed to the corner, if they decide to operate their stations, they will soon find out that there is no gas available for them anyway. What do you say to that, Mr Adviser?


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Comments (10)

December 6, 2012 1:03 pm
If gas is short in the country, then why are we supplying subsidized fuel (CNG) to luxury vehicles?
Jawaid Islam
December 6, 2012 8:51 am
Mr Knowledgeable adviser best run his hospital than this most essential ministry. The CNG supply has worsened ever since his appointment. On part of the government and its able planners and economists over the years, why didn't they foresee such eventuality when they were doling out licenses to CNG pumps left, right, center. Did they not know the reserves? What were the executives at SSGC and other gas supplying agencies doing except getting fat salaries and perks. Commission mafia they all are. They would sell the country for their financial gains.
December 6, 2012 7:28 am
CNG industry might consume only 9% of total gas available for distribution, HOWEVER, it is responsible for 95% of UFG (Unaccounted for Gas) losses now approaching 20% of Gas production in the country. So add 19% UFG losses to their 9% consumption and you pretty much capture most of the shortfall of gas in the country....
December 6, 2012 7:55 am
I am not here to comment on what Dr. Hussain has said. But in my opinion, use of natural gas as transportation fuel is not a good idea. But since CNG stations projects were started by Musharraf regime, it makes sense now to keep supplying gas to CNG stations so that investment made in this area does not go waste. But further expansion of CNG stations needs to be stopped. Other measures such as importing gas, correcting circular debt issue, reducing un-accounted for gas (thefts), improving safety and pricing of gas by CNG sector, keeping a strict check on measurement of gas by CNG stations, etc. must continue in parallel.
December 6, 2012 6:03 pm
Only above 40 seat buses licensed on city routes should be allowed continued access to CNG as transport fuel.
December 7, 2012 12:41 pm
It was a wrong decision to subsidize scarce fuel for private transport. Cheap Public transport should be encouraged and the number of private cars clogging up roads should be reduced. Hiking up fuel prices for private vehicles while subsidizing buses could be one intelligent method even if unpopular.
December 7, 2012 12:52 am
Pakistan have enough gas to gnerate electricity domestic, commercial and run all transport.Its only fake stories to keep public busy.
shabbir kazmi
December 7, 2012 2:32 am
The story being spread by Dr Asim is totally incorrect. There is no shortage of gas especially for CNG users. The havoc is being played to create justification for the import of LNG, fully supported by oil lobby. There care a few gas field capable of producing 2,000mmcfd which are either capped or face litigation.
shabbir kazmi
December 7, 2012 2:36 am
But why gas is being burned in power plants? consumers are not interest in CNG or petrol. They want a cheap fuel. It is government that promoted CNG use and now billions of dollars will be wasted if we revert back to petrol. Sir please review your opinion once again
shabbir kazmi
December 7, 2012 2:38 am
LFG is nothing but pilferage done by 'powerfull' with the connivance of staff of gas marketing companies.
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