Worsening natural gas crisis

Published Dec 19, 2012 03:26am

THE adviser on petroleum and natural resources (PNR) has grossly mismanaged this very important ministry.

History will tell, and tell shortly, how much damage he has caused by first changing the board of directors and chief executives of some important corporations in his ministry by bringing his favourites and then micromanaging the decision-making. So much so that even allocation of gas, providing new connections and diverting gas from one sector to another are being done on his instructions.

Another scam that will open up is the purchase of dilapidated Progas LPG terminal for Rs2.8bn by the SSGC. A very bad investment decision, yet forced by the adviser on the SSGC. He now claims that by phasing out the closure of CNG he will divert gas to industry.

Even if he closes all the CNG, he will not have enough gas for the industry. Both utility companies know this but the adviser will not listen. Recently he went to Iran with an entourage giving an impression that he has successfully negotiated with Iran a $500m loan for pipeline construction.

The IP pipeline has fallen into serious snags. Even the consortium of banks that were officially selected as financial advisers, headed by the Bank of China, has shown it inability because all these banks will have their branches shut in the US because of the sanctions.

The natural gas shortages of the winter have already started to appear. Industry in Punjab is already on two days a week. The CNG in Punjab is perpetually closed due to a very shrewd move by the adviser through Ogra. Towns and villages in Sindh and Balochistan are burning wood for cooking as there is virtual clampdown on gas pressures.

The situation in Punjab is even worse. The results of the recent by-elections in Punjab should be an eye-opener for President Asif Ali Zardari. One of the major factors is and will be natural gas shortage.


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Comments (6) Closed

Cyrus Howell
Dec 19, 2012 09:01pm
It is nearly impossible to get people who have all the answers to listen, isn't it?
Dec 19, 2012 08:09am
Karachi have no CNG problems.Karachi is generating domestic and industrial electricity using gas.
Dec 19, 2012 07:04pm
There is no solution for the lack of natural gas for "short term" basis. For the long haul Pakistan should look into horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing on shale gas formations. We have done that in Oklahoma USA and produced so much gas that the price went down from $ 10 per MCF to $2 per MCF.
Dec 19, 2012 05:42pm
What is eye opener. Why don't we Pakistanis understand the fact that there is not enough natural gas to feed all sectors of economy. Unless we have imported natural gas either from Iran or Turkemanistan there will always be gas shortage and things will remain as usual. Dr. Asim or Dr ABC whoever will be the incharge the situation will remain the same.
Dec 19, 2012 08:59am
An eye opener, and accurate article, but who is listening.
Dec 19, 2012 08:59am
An eye opener.