Gas imports from Iran and Central Asia are challenging; while LNG is costly, an increase in local output is needed.

Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt, said on Wednesday that the masses and economy are suffering from a gas crisis for the last fifteen years. He added that the only solution to the country’s gas crisis is increasing local production, which is currently insignificant.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said in a statement issued here today that after wasting gas for decades, now this clean fuel is less than its requirement in the country.

Importing gas from Central Asia and Iran has become very difficult. Domestic resources do not allow importing expensive LNG according to the requirement, so the only solution is increasing local production.

Shahid Rashid Butt said that the gas crisis continues throughout the year, but its severity increases in winter, which affects people and businesses as gas exploration and production have declined.

He noted that LNG could not be over-relied because rich countries pay more to buy gas, and suppliers often need to pay more attention to Pakistan despite the deal. Apart from this, the price of LNG increases a lot in winter. To solve these pressing problems, the government should encourage foreign companies to explore gas in Pakistan; formalities should be completed in time, and all the permits should be given without unnecessary delays.

Most companies coming to Pakistan are involved in such issues that they cannot get out despite years of effort and leave the country at the end, which results in their losses and tarnishes Pakistan’s reputation.

Shahid Rashid Butt said that the share of gas in Pakistan’s energy mix is 38 per cent. The production of gas is four billion cubic feet per day, while its demand is six to eight billion cubic feet per day, which has become a big problem.  

He informed that gas is the third-largest energy source consumed around the world. Pakistan has less than a 1 per cent share in world gas consumption. It meets its energy demand through imported and indigenous resources. Natural gas and imported LNG contribute more than 40 per cent to the country’s current energy mix.

He said that harassment of foreign investors interested in the energy sector should be stopped; otherwise, the gas crisis will continue to increase.

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