Gas consumers in Pakistan will experience 16 hours of gas load-shedding daily during the upcoming winter season because of dwindling gas reserves, according to the Caretaker Federal Minister for Energy Muhammad Ali.
He stated that the government will only provide domestic consumers with eight hours of gas per day.
Due to depleting gas reservoirs, uninterrupted gas supply is not feasible in winter.
The minister also mentioned that domestic consumers may need to switch from natural gas to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to meet their gas requirements.
Pakistan is facing an annual decline of 5% to 7% in its gas reserves and new gas connections will be prohibited due to gas shortages.
In response to questions, Ali informed the media that the government has procured two gas cargoes for December 2023 from the spot market and plans to purchase two more for January 2024.
He explained that the government raised gas prices to reduce the circular debt in the gas sector which had reached Rs2.1 trillion.
With the new gas tariff, the government has put a halt to the growth of circular debt in the gas sector, the minister added.
To meet local demand, the government is promoting exploration activities in the country.
Ali said that the gas sector has been incurring an annual loss of Rs400 billion while Sui gas companies are responsible for Rs190 billion annual loss. The government faces Rs210 billion loss in LNG due to cost differences, he continued.
Ali also mentioned that a Pakistani oil refinery has entered into an agreement with Russia to import 9 million barrels annually which would result in potential savings of up to $15 per barrel for Pakistan.