A look at the Gas Sector of Pakistan

Engineering Post Report

Natural Gas is a clean, safe, efficient and environment friendly fuel. Its indigenous supplies contribute about 38 per cent in total primary energy supply mix of the country.

Pakistan produces around four Billion Cubic Feet per Day (Bcfd) of indigenous natural gas against an unconstrained demand pf over six Bcfd. To meet the shortfall, the federal government had initiated the import of LNG. Pakistan has an extensive gas network of over 12971 kilometers transmission 139827 KM Distribution and 17058 services gas pipelines to cater the requirement of more than 9.6 million  consumers across the country.

Pakistan Government is pursuing its policies for enhancing indigenous gas production as well as imported gas to meet the ever increasing demand of energy in the country. Presently, the capacity of two Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit to Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RNLG) is 1200 MMCFD and accordingly RLNG is being imported to mitigate gas demand-supply shortfall.

LPG plays an important role in the energy mix of Pakistan as it provides a cleaner alternative to biomass-based sources, especially in locations where natural gas is not available. It is an emerging sector of energy in Pakistan and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) is empowered to regulate the LPG supply sector under the OGRA Ordinance 2002 and LP (Production and Distribution) Rules 2001 with effect from March 15, 2003. The total supply of LPG during July2019 to March 2020 was 739785 Metric Ton. Currently, there are 11 LPG producers and 200 LPG marketing companies operating in the country having more than 7000 authorized LPG distributors throughout the country.

OGRA has already simplified the procedure for grant of LPG license and the same was granted on fast track basis to the applicants once the requirements are met/complied with.  During July 2019 to March 2020, one operational license of LPG Storage Terminal, three licenses for construction of LPG Air-Mix plant, thirty-five licenses for construction of LPG Storage and Filling plants and 18 licenses for operation of LPG Storage and Filling plants were issued, according to the figures available from official sources concerned some time back. Additionally, OGRA had also issued three licenses for construction of LPG Auto Refueling Stations and three operational licenses for LPG auto refueling stations during the period under report.

Due to augmented investment and  future expansion plans of LPG  marketing companies , significant investment in LPG supply and distribution infrastructure   has been witnessed. LPG sector has also provided jobs to pretty large number of unemployed people.

Around 76 per cent of the LPG consumed  is met with local production  in Pakistan, whereas the rest is  imported. Refineries, Gas Producing Fields and Imports are three main sources  of LPG  supply in the country. LPG is gradually becoming  popular domestic  fuel among people who live in far-flung areas of the country and where natural gas infrastructure does not exist. Currently LPG accounts for more than 1.2 per cent of the total primary energy supply in the country. This low share of LPG in the  total energy mix  is mainly due to supply constraints and the higher price of LPG in  relation to  competing fuels  like natural gas, wood etc.

The current size of LPG market is around 1061447 MT/Annum. It is primarily meant to supply  for the domestic fuel requirements especially  in natural gas starved areas and in peak times in the urban territories. The use of LPG as domestic  fuel shall  deter deforestation in hilly areas and shall provide a comparatively  healthier and hygienically safe alternative to the common citizens.

The federal government had sometime back also taken a policy decision  to allow use of LPG  in the automotive industry to share the burden with conventional auto fuels. Subsequently , OGRA had also laid down an elaborated regulatory  framework for supply of LPG to the vehicles.

From 2008 onwards, OGRA gad started registration of LPG equipment manufacturing companies for  the purpose of eradicating sub-standard  manufacturing sale and use of LPG equipments. More than 52 LPG equipment   manufacturing  companies had already been pre-qualified as authorized manufacturers of LPG equipment in the country.

Currently, LPG supplies are being met through three sources: refineries, gas producing fields and imports.