Interim Power Minister Muhammad Ali has hinted at gas load-shedding in the winter season, saying that it was not possible to provide a 24-hour gas supply.
“Last year, the supply of gas decreased by 20%,” he told reporters after inaugurating the model customer service centre of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in Lahore on Friday. “You cannot buy expensive gas and give cheap gas, this year too there will be load shedding of gas in winter.”
He shared that the government was trying to import more LNG cargoes to meet the demand.
Pakistan’s indigenous gas deposits were depleting at a rate of 10% per annum, according to former minister of state for petroleum Musadik Malik. Successive governments have called for drilling to find more reserves to meet the national demand.
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Power Minister Ali shared that Pakistan was considering the offer of cheap gas and petrol from Iran.
“If other refineries besides Pakistan oil refinery also agree to refine Russian oil, then more oil will be ordered from Russia,” he said.
On Thursday, he said that the interim government would soon announce some changes in the gas prices.
He hinted that there would be minor changes in the rate of the lower-income segment because their affordability was less.
Earlier this month, the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority increased the rates of liquified petroleum gas by nearly Rs40. The decision was taken a day after the petrol rates topped Rs300 in Pakistan.
There are reports that the Petroleum Division has sought up to 50% rise in gas sale prices in an attempt to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund.