PM’s special assistant on petroleum rejects Sindh government’s argument on provincial resources

The federal government will take up the weighted average of gas and rights of provinces under Article 158 and 18th constitutional amendment to the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

PM’s Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar talking to a select group of journalists here on Monday claimed that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was nearly convinced on the much-heated and debated issues of gas by resolving the issue of gas distribution in Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGCL) system.

Province of Sindh is producing 2360 mmcfd gas whereas it receives 1224 mmcfd piped gas and 1346 mmcfd gas is dedicated to the industries like fertilizer and power plants in the province. Giving the details of dedicated gas to the industry, he said that Marri Gas was supplying 586 mmcfd, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) 332 mmcfd, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) 234 mmcfd and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) 134 mmcfd, besides others.

He said that Sindh government could avoid current gas shortfall in the next winter in coordination with the federal government by implementing weighted average cost of gas in the country, adding it would also encourage the provincial government to utilize imported RLNG as the new discoveries in oil and gas sector in the province are not in sight.

Babar said that Sindh also agreed to implement the weighted average cost of gas by including imported RLNG as there was no hindrance in the prevailing law to overcome gas shortage in the country; otherwise, there will be shortage of 300 MMCFD in the province.

Babar further said if the trend of first right of using provincial resources persists as Sindh government is claiming; it would be followed by the other provinces for their surplus wheat, electricity and other resources.

Regarding the supply of imported RLNG to the consumers of Punjab, Babar said that SNGPL provided Rs 19 billion in the winter 2018 and they would also be supplied imported RLNG of Rs 32 billion, and if the cost was not recovered from the consumers then the federal government would have to bear its cost; otherwise, the financial position of the gas utility would be in serious trouble.

About Right of Way (RoW) at Dhabeji and permission from the government of Sindh, the special assistant said that it would help the federal government import additional 100 MMCFD RLNG and improve the supplies to the domestic consumers as currently Petroleum Division can’t import more than 1200 MMCFD against the capacity utilization of 1300 MMCFD at LNG terminal in Karachi.

The division is also considering a proposal to the CCI for recovering of dues of supplied RLNG to the domestic consumers of SNGPL in the summer months when they (consumers) are getting relatively low gas bills, maintained Babar.

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