LAHORE – The Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry is likely to approve the SNGPL’s proposed gas load management plan for winter in a meeting on Wednesday (today). Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain is due in City today.

“We are holding a meeting with Dr Asim tomorrow to get approval of the winter plan,” said Arif Hameed, the managing director of he Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited. However, Hameed was reluctant to share the details of the plan, saying: “We have only prepared plan and the government is final decision making authority. We will present the plan to the Ministry of Petroleum for approval.”

It has been learnt that tough decision would be taken to cut the maximum gas of the Punjab CNG and industrial sectors. Sources said that that three days gas cut to industry and half week gas cut to CNG sector is likely to be imposed after mid-November.

“There will be a shortage of about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) during winter to manage which load shedding would be increased from three to three and half days for CNG stations and five days to four days for Punjab industry,” they added.

Prime Minister has recently assured the uninterrupted supply of gas to domestic consumers, however, extreme shortage (more than 1200MMCFD) meant that they would take a hit also.

The SNGPL is facing some 800 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas shortage in its system. The demand is crossing 2500MMCFD from the availability of about 1800MMCFD in the system. No major discovery has been made in past four years besides the pace of work on IP-Gas pipeline and LNG projects are also very slow.

In addition to CNG and industry, there is also a proposal to increase gas load shedding for fertilizer sector as well, said the sources.