LAHORE -  Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday pledged to provide uninterrupted gas supply to industries in Punjab this winter despite the fact that the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has already reduced gas supply to industries in the province amid shortfall of about 500mmcfd.

The minister was talking to the media after inaugurating Pakistan State Oil’s (PSO) new range of premium quality fuel products at PSO Defence Service Station Cavalry Ground in Lahore. He said the government was trying to ensure smooth gas supply to domestic consumers, as the country has sufficient storages of gas and have a comprehensive strategy to meet the high demand of gas during winter.

However, the SNGPL officials have pointed out a shortfall of 1000mmcfd in winter, raising the alarm about loadshedding and low gas pressure in domestic and commercial sectors particularly in Punjab. It has also asked different industrial sectors including dyeing, ghee, chemical, sizing and steel to make alternate arrangements for winter, as presently shortfall of about 500mmcfd is being reported in the system.

Talking to the media, the minister said due to the policies being pursued by the government, surplus gas would be available in the country in the year 2018. Earlier, addressing the gathering, the minister lauded PSO for its continuous support in helping the government as well as the Petroleum Ministry to achieve their goals of better quality fuels in Pakistan.

He said new petrol would enhance engine performance and speed. New petrol would be available in different colours to avoid adulteration factor. He said that the government has rejected the summary of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for the increase of gas prices. He said that gas prices will remain unchanged, adding that OGRA has been informed about this decision accordingly.

He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had made it clear that no increase will be made in gas prices for the domestic consumers. He said, “This is a momentous initiative as it renders numerous benefits not only for the consumer, but also for the country’s economy at large. To keep the superior quality of the new fuel products intact and prevent adulteration, the color of Altron Premium and Altron X High Performance has been kept different from the other fuels.”

Pakistan State Oil Managing Director Sheikh Imranul Haque said, “PSO continues to be the industry leader, setting new trends for market players to follow. The launch of our new product line is yet another testament to PSO’s commitment to effectively meeting the changing needs of our consumers and delivering them the best quality products.”

After the inaugural, customers flocked to the petrol station to fuel their vehicles with the new and improved product range. The customers also praised PSO’s efforts to improve fuel quality in Pakistan and shared how they had already started experiencing benefits of the new fuel products.

The higher-grade RON results in extended engine life and reduced maintenance costs. As they result in better engine hygiene, Altron Premium and Altron X High Performance reduce the environmental impact due to lower emissions. Additional benefits of the new product range include better mileage, enhanced engine performance, and a great motor vehicle experience to the customer.