Islamabad - The Federal government has once again accused the Sindh government for the gas shortage in Karachi stating that the provincial government is not giving Right of Way for new gas line.

“Gas shortage in Karachi is directly due to Govt of Sindh not giving Right of Way for a new SSGC Line. Have been after Govt of Sindh since the last 1.5 years but they have not budged,” said the Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan via a tweet here. “We are already giving 100 MMCFD RLNG to K-Electric KE & need the new line for additional supply,” the Minister added in the same tweet.

It is worth to mention here that the industrial area in Karachi is facing low gas pressure from Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) since September 14 which has negative impact on production and export sector. Exporters since last week have urged the Ministry of Energy for intervention to resolve the issue.

SSGC on the other hand said that currently customers are facing low gas pressure situation due to diminishing gas supplies from different gas fields owned by E &P companies.

Sinjhoro and Zarghun Gas Fields are undergoing Annual Turn Around (ATA) right now and some gas fields too are injecting reduced gas into SSGC's system. SSGC faces a shortfall of 150 mmcfd gas as a result of which the Company's line pack system has been affected. SSGC is following the Government's gas load management plan whereby the Company is giving first preference in the supply of gas to the domestic sector. Despite the grave situation, SSGC continues to provide K-Electric with 190 to 200 mmcfd gas so that the people of Karachi do not face power outages for long.

Upcoming winter will be tough for all the customers about which SSGC has already informed KE and other stakeholders so that they can make alternate arrangements. A gas shortfall of 150 to 300 mmcfd gas is expected. An official source in the Sindh government ,however, rejected the Minister of Energy claim and said that the Federal government should come out of the blame game and instead of accusing Sindh should direct SSGC to provide enough gas to Karachi.

Deviation from Article 158 is the main reason of the gas crisis in the province, he insisted.

The government should give clear instructions to the SSGC for ensuring gas supply to industries with required pressure, they said.

The Constitution of the country gave the province the right of first use of gas it produces, the source said. The gas pressure issue is because of the gas shortage as the province is not getting gas as per Article 158 of the Constitution.

In a recent seminar on Sustainability, Security and Affordability of Natural Gas Supply in Pakistan, the Sindh government had once again reiterated its demand for providing gas to the province article 158 of the constitution. Article 158 reads: “The province in which the well-head of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting the requirements of natural gas from that well head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day.”

Sindh has never objected to the import of LNG but insisting that the end users should pay the price which is in that case is the consumer in Punjab, said the source .