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With the arrival of winter and recent intensified rainfall, the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) is grappling with a gas deficit ranging from 400 to 600 mmcfd, exacerbating the challenges posed by harsher weather conditions.
Strategic Measures to Combat Gas Theft and Winter Gas Supply Dynamics by SNGPL
A decision has been made by SNGPL to implement an integrated system aimed at curbing gas theft, aligning gas supply with recovery efforts in local communities, and taking punitive measures against those found responsible.
During the winter season, there is a demand for 950 to 1,350 mmcfd of domestic gas, while the local supply is expected to range from 650 to 700 mmcfd in the upcoming three months.
Government’s Gas Supply Commitment and Increased LNG Shipments
The government has made commitments to secure gas supply for domestic consumers. However, in response to the significant shortage, the provision of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders to these consumers has been initiated by SNGPL.
Officials have indicated that a greater number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments have been organized for this winter compared to the previous season.
Winter LNG Shipment Boost to Address Gas Shortage
LNG cargo allocations for the months of November and December match the volumes ordered in 2021. However, recognizing the ongoing gas shortage concerns, an additional shipment has been arranged for the months of January and February as part of the winter preparations.
This strategic decision aims to bolster the gas supply during the peak winter months when the demand for heating and energy is typically at its highest, ensuring a more robust and reliable gas provision for consumers.
During the previous winter, a total of nine cargoes were ordered for January, and eight cargoes were ordered for February.
For this winter, January will see the arrangement of 10 LNG cargoes, and February will have nine LNG cargoes scheduled.
Enhancing Gas Supply Integrity with Community-Level Metering
The decision by the Petroleum Division to deploy metering systems at the community level as a countermeasure against gas theft is a significant step towards enhancing the integrity of the gas supply infrastructure.
Under this initiative, dedicated personnel will be stationed in these communities, ensuring continuous monitoring of gas consumption patterns.
These personnel will play a pivotal role in maintaining transparency and accountability by reporting their observations to a supervisor on a monthly basis.
The emphasis on tracking profits and losses associated with gas supply underscores the commitment to address any discrepancies promptly.
By closely monitoring gas usage and expenditures, this approach not only aims to combat theft but also aims to optimize resource allocation and efficiency in gas distribution.
Gas Supply Integrity, Theft Statistics, and Metering Expansion in SNGPL
Overall, this comprehensive approach reflects a concerted effort to safeguard the gas supply, promote responsible consumption, and ensure equitable distribution, ultimately benefiting consumers and the sustainability of the gas network.
Gas theft within SNGPL accounts for 8%, whereas in the case of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), it reaches 15%.
Both Sui companies will be held accountable for the entirety of their gas supply profits and losses. Officials have stated that within the upcoming six months, a comprehensive gas metering system will be implemented in every town.
Sources of SNGPL have indicated that currently, central meters have been placed at 900 SNGPL locations. Nevertheless, they have noted that an additional 3,000 to 4,000 meters are needed.
The Petroleum Division has directed the SNGPL to initiate the central meter system at a 100% implementation rate within the coming three to four months, following the established procedures for this purpose.
Funding Responsibility, Logistical Challenges, and Implementation Timeline
The costs associated with this initiative will be covered by the Sui companies, and their respective boards will officially grant their approval for the expenditure.
Attaining a complete 100% implementation of this system in the southern region, notably in Balochistan, including its capital, Quetta, presents a logistical challenge due to the substantial time needed for the installation of central meters at the town level within various districts.
This complex and time-consuming process involves extensive coordination and resources, making it impractical to achieve full implementation within a short timeframe.