Gas situation to improve in March: minister

Gas situation to improve in March: minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said gas supply to domestic sector would improve this March in Punjab. 
Flanked by Minister of State Jam Kamal Khan and Secretary Abid Saeed, the minister told a press conference that domestic consumers were facing shortage as gas had been restored to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations thrice a week on the court’s order. 
However, in March, the gas supply would start improving and every coming winter situation would improve gradually, he said. At one stage, the commodity would become surplus during the five year tenure of the PML-N government, he added.
He said top priority was being accorded to the domestic sector whose demand in Punjab had risen by 30 percent, from 1,200 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) to 1,400 MMCFD, while the industrial sector was getting 100 MMCFD, the minister added. 
He said the government was taking solid measures to overcome the gas shortage and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which would start flowing by November 2014, would go a long way in meeting the country’s energy needs.
He said negotiations with regard to the import of the LNG was under way and producers were being contacted, in this regard.
He also rejected the news item published in a section of press that Yemen would provide LNG to Pakistan, saying the former had already told that it had not sufficient stock of gas to be exported.
Replying to a question, the minister said contracts with captive power plants would not be renewed and no supply was being given to the fertilizer sector through pipelines except the dedicated supply. 
The minister said issues of the LPG sector were being resolved, ensuring its price comparatively affordable for the masses than the last winter seasons. 
He said after the 18th Amendment, provinces’ input was necessary to be taken before awarding exploration licenses and now the four provinces had furnished their summaries and the 58 blocks would be awarded, soon. 
He said the past government did not take pain to implement petroleum policy and now the Petroleum Policy 2012 was being implemented, offering incentives for investors to effectively explore oil and gas sector for achieving national prosperity.
He said the prices for the domestic sector consumers would not be enhanced and all its problems would be resolved. 

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