1. There is now considerable load shedding across Pakistan and particularly acute shortage of power and gas in Karachi. And gas shortage will only increase all over Pakistan as the winter approaches. Let’s see why this is happening. A little background first.
2. When PMLN came to power in 2013 Pakistan’s maximum power producing capacity was of 12,500 MWs. And we had piped local gas of about 3000 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd). Over time gas production from fields depletes and our gas production was depleting too.
3. During our tenure we started gas production in 115 fields, a record, but almost all of these finds were small. We managed to keep supply in SSGC (1300 mmcfd) about the same but supplies decreased across the SNGPL network (from 1700 to 1300 mmcfd).
4. Unless we find one or two new Sui-like fields, our gas production is expected to keep on decreasing. Hence import of gas is the only viable option. (Gas is the cheapest & cleanest form of thermal energy so it’s better to import gas— Liquified Natural Gas, LNG— than oil.
5. A note on renewables. Given non-uniform production of power from Hydro (summer months), Solar (at night only; storage in batteries is prohibitively expensive), and Wind (windy or summer months), we can’t practically rely on renewables for base load. Thermal is the best option.
6. PMLN increased power production capacity. Pak can now produce, transmit and distribute 25,000 plus MW hours of power. We set up some wind & solar and completed a lot of hydro based power —-Tarbela 4, Neelum Jhelum and Dasu. And set up 3600 MWs of gas & 4000 MWs of coal as base
7. Our 3600 MW gas-fired plants have the lowest total, variable & fixed capacity cost per kWh. They are cheaper than plants set up in 1994 & 2004. This notion by PTI that they are expensive is just a ruse.

وہ حیلہ گر ہیں جو مجبوریاں شمار کریں
چراغ ہم نے جلائے ہوا کے ہوتے ہوئے
8. PMLN set up 2 LNG import terminals in private sector with guaranteed tolling fee. These are the two cheapest terminals in the world and although NAB jailed Shahid Abbasi and me for setting up an LNG terminal, it’s not been able to show a cheaper terminal anywhere on the planet
9. LNG bought by Pak from Qatar in Jan 2016 was at 13.37% of Brent. In Feb, India bought more expensive gas. A year later Bangladesh bought more expensive gas. However as prices were coming down, in 2017 we bought gas from Gunver and ENI for 11.6% & 11.99% for 5 & 10 years.
10. Again Pakistan bought the cheapest long term (LT) gas from Qatar at 13.37% and there isn’t a single cheaper LT contract before that. Also PTI wasted the golden opportunity to do a LT contract for gas when oil and gas were at historic lows.
11. Now it is expected by buy spot LNG 11.39% of Brent, which is only 0.20% cheaper than LNG we bought on a LT basis when gas prices were firmer. (LT contracts are more expensive than spot rates and 75% of all gas is sold on LT contracts).
12. PMLN also set up a pipeline for gas from Khi to Lhe to convey 1200 mmcfd. That’s enough for 2 terminals we set up. Today the gas available in SSGC is 1200 and SNGPL is 1100 mmcfd plus 1200 mmcfd LNG (total 3500 mmcfd) against a requirement of 4000 to 5000 mmcfd. Huge shortage
13. In 2 years PTI has neither set up more terminals nor laid pipelines. Hence the gas shortage. And since more than half of our power comes from gas plants, there is now power shortage also This is dereliction of duty. PTI’s job is not to warn of shortages but to end shortages.
14. The solution is to 1) bring higher capacity FSRUs at the existing terminals 2) build more terminals 3) build pipelines 4) do both short-and long-term contracts to secure more gas, 5) extract and supply gas from fields where gas is already discovered & 6) have OGDC, PPL &
15. other companies invest in fields for exploration. This isn’t rocket science. Shahid Abbasi as petrol minister left a comprehensive plan for these things. PTI just has to act on this instead of blaming others and doing no work. Remember there is no substitute for hard work//
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