Energy Crisis in Pakistan
Natural Gas
Pakistan’s indigenous natural gas reserves are declining and a low gas price has become a significant disincentive in attracting new gas supplies, either through increased domestic exploration activities or via imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) or regional gas pipeline imports. If current gas policies persist, Pakistan’s natural gas supply is expected to decline from 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2010/11 to less than 1 bcfd by 2025/26. This will lead to a growing gas/energy shortfall reaching 8 bcfd (over 50 million TOEs) by 2025/26 and will depress Pakistan’s average GDP growth rate over the next 15 years.
Natural Gas Usage

Average daily gas

6.5 billion feet

Average daily gas

6.5 billion feet

700mmcfd shortfall

Reserve can increase
Petroleum production is heavily dependant on refining capacity, efficiency, and a stable crude oil supply. Over the years Pakistan has increased its refining capacity, with newer and more efficient refineries set up, but is largely dependant on imports for its crude oil supplies. Imported crude oil would lead to higher prices for petroleum and related products, but the addition of value added taxes, like GST and the petroleum development levy, m-4 prices even higher. Petroleum products provide highest indirect source of revenue for the governmen. The collection on petroleum products in 2010-11 was Rs153.3 billion or 47.2 per cent of the total collection. Unless the government shifts its revenue dependence away from taxing petroleum products, it is highly unlikely that fuel prices will be brought down, m-4ing us further into the energy crisis.
Fuel Price History










Rs. 88


Rs. 85

Fuel price
in Ten Years
Alternative Energy
World over, governments are now promoting the use of alternate and renewable energy resources in the energy mix, in consideration of climate change and higher fossil fuel costs. Surprisingly, Pakistan holds a high share of renewable energy in its energy mix, of approximately 32 per cent, primarily on its hydel power generation. However, Pakistan has now focused on other renewable resources at varying degrees, with more than 400 to 500 MW of power generation being pursued through wind farms. While major solar projects are still to be implemented, subsidies and other initiatives have been used by the government for its use on the micro-level such as powering tube-wells, water geysers, and household lighting. Pakistan’s renewable resources are estimated to be massive, with just solar and wind potential estimated at cumulatively 300,000 megawatts.
Power Generation
Under 3000

rural villges

Under 3000

rural villges

3 wind turbines generate
pakistan's daily requirement
Coal Reserves
Pakistan’s coal resources are estimated to be very vast, but very little progress is made in its use for energy. While total reserves are estimated to be 185 billion tonnes, with the majority stated to be in Sindh, the use of coal in Pakistan’s energy mix stands at less than 0.1 per cent, which is much lower than the global average of 40 per cent. The Thar Desert in Sindh is claimed to contain the seventh largest oil reserves in the world, estimated at 175 billion tonnes. The government at this point claims to be developing the area’s infrastructure to generate investment, with road networks, electricity, communication, and other necessary facilities. However, the progress so far with regards to extraction is very minimal. It is essential for Pakistan to tap its coal reserves to efficiently solve its energy crisis to avoid depletion of other limited resources.
Coal Generation
Pakistan is considered as an oil-rich nation, although untapped, with high estimates of proven and non-proven reserves. OGDCL, as well as other private-sector corporations had made a series of oil discoveries up till the 80’s, however overall production has largely remained flat, at approximately 60,000 barrels per day. The government has now aimed at increasing output to 100,000 bbl/day, however that has still not materialized, with average production for 2011 standing at 59,000 bbl/day. Pakistan’s oil consumption stands at 410,000 barrels per day, therefore even if the stated target was to be achieved, the bulk requirement would still be fulfilled through imports, increasing energy costs higher and harming the overall trade balance.
Oil Usage

436.2 millionbb 2007 est


436.2 millionbb 2007 est


436.2 millionbb 2007 est


30,090 bbl/day 2007 est


436.2 millionbb 2007 est

Increse in imports
in Five Years
  • 2011

    The year started with the shut down of Uch power plant producing 585MW of electricity, as one of the pipelines providing fuel was blown up in the district of Jaffarabad. Pakistan faced one of its most crucial gas crises, with the shortfall rising up to 1.8 billion cubic feet (bcf). The year also experienced the worst CNG load shedding resulting in losses and problems for the consumers. However OGRA increased the gas tariff by 14 per cent in the beginning of the year which was one of the biggest tariff hikes in the history of Pakistan. Moreover, the energy shortfall reached up to 2,700 MW.

  • 2010

    Sheikhan gas field, which is located in Kohat, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, was discovered. Moreover, the torrential rainfall in the year resulted in floods which caused much damage to the existing infrastructure transmitting/transferring energy and fuel. Towards the end of the year, country’s first rental power plant (RPP), with the capacity of 232 MW was inaugurated in Karachi.  

  • 2009

    NASHPA oil fields were discovered in Karak district of Kyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the same year, Karachi faced one of its most crucial power breakdowns on June 17 in which the entire city was without power for 21 hours and more.Moreover, the country faced a power shortfall of 4,500 MW in the same year with the domestic demand rising up to 11,000 MW. However only 6,500 MW of generated power was catering to the entire demand.  

  • 2008

    The demand and supply gap pertaining to electricity in Pakistan increased by 15 per cent.The major load shedding crisis also commenced in the same year with power outages extending up to 16 hours a day in many cities of the country.  

  • 2007

    Pakistan faced one of its biggest power failures after Bhutto’s assassination in which production fell by 6,000 MW.

  • 2006

    Mela oil fields were discovered in the area of Kohat located in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

  • 2005

    International Sovereign Energy, a Canadian company, signed an MoU with Oil and Gas Development Company Limited. The memorandum entailed further development of Toot Oil Fields. Pakistan was hit by one of its most devastating earthquakes which resulted in a vast damage to the infrastructural capital responsible for transmitting/transferring fuel. In the December of 2005, Karachi electric Supply Company, one of the largest vertically integrated power supply company in Pakistan was privatised.

  • 2004

    Chanda oil fields located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa started oil production.

  • 2000

    Balochistan Liberation Army allegedly bombed one of the minor pipelines transmitting gas from Sui gas fields.

  • 1998-1999

    The oil fields owned by Union Texas Pakistan were producing more oil than the Potwar wells.

  • 1994

    Rajjan oil field, located in Gujjar Khan, was discovered.

  • 1990

    Qadirpur gas field was discovered in the province of Sindh. It remains the third largest gas field in Pakistan.

  • 1989

    Dakni gas field started commercial production in December 1989.

  • 1986

    The year witnessed the peak in oil production from Toot Oilfields which was 2,400 barrels per day. Moreover, Chak Naurang field located 90 kms away from Islamabad was discovered in the June of 1986.

  • 1984

    Tando Adam oil field, located in Hyderabad, was drilled and completed.

  • 1983

    Dakni gas field, located about 135 Kms in the south-west of Islamabad, was discovered in 1983.

  • 1981

    Union Texas Pakistan discovered an oil field in lower Sindh.

  • 1976

    Dhodak gas field was discovered in the province of Punjab.

  • 1967

    The commercial production from Toot Oilfields started in 1967.

  • 1964

    The Toot Oilfields, located in the Potwar region of Punjab were found. During Ayub Khan’s regime Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan Oilfields explored and drilled the first well. Toot Oilfields have an approximate capacity to produce 60 million barrels of oil.

  • 1955

    Commercial drilling and exploring of Sui gas fields was started. Sui gas field contributes substantially to fulfil Pakistan’s fuel requirements and have a daily production of approximately 550 MMscf.Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) discovered gas reserves at Uch gas field.

  • 1952

    The first oil field in Pakistan was discovered in the province of Balochistan near a Sui gas field. During the same time period, Sui gas field, which remains the biggest natural gas field in Pakistan, was discovered.

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