The Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL) on Friday informed a Senate panel that it was incurring an annual loss of Rs14 billion in Balochistan.
Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum, its managing director attributed 88% losses to “theft” of the gas.
Acting Committee Chairman Senator Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti directed the SSGPL that gas load shedding should be reduced in winter in Balochistan.
“The SSGPL should devise a procedure [for this purpose],” he added.
Senator Dinesh Kumar maintained that the assets of SSGPL officers were increasing while the losses of the company were on the rise.
The SSGPL MD replied that it had a limited amount of gas and load shedding was happening all over the country.
Senator Bugti told him what the citizens would do if there was gas load shedding in -15C temperature in some areas of Balochistan.
The committee’s directed the SSGPL to prepare a plan to reduce gas load shedding in Balochistan in the coming winter.
Ironically, Balochistan has the country’s extensive gas reserves. According to an estimate, out of the Pakistan’s estimated 25.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves, 19 trillion are located in Balochistan.
Oil and gas exploration in Balochistan should not be limited to Marri-Bugti tribal area but other districts — Sunny Shoran, Kharan, Zarghoon area, Chaghi, Lasbela, Bolan, Makran and coastal regions may be explored. Geological reports confirm huge reservoirs of petroleum and gas in Kalat, Kharan, Kohlu and Lasbela districts in Balochistan. The government needs to formulate an aggressive exploration policy for energy-rich Balochistan.
The Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) is the country’s largest exploration and production company, which has been dominating the arena of oil and gas exploration for many decades in Balochistan. It is the operator of the country’s oldest Sui gas field in Bugti tribal area.
Around 23% of the total national output of natural gas is being exploited from Balochistan, including 18% from the Sui gas field in the Bugti tribal area.
Sui is still the single largest gas field in Pakistan. In 1952, PPL discovered a huge natural gas field at Sui in the Bugti tribal area of Balochistan.
It was the seventh largest gas field in the world and the biggest in Pakistan at that time. From that day the natural gas got name and fame as ‘Sui gas’ all over the country.
Commercial exploitation of the field began in 1955. Since then, the Sui Field has been meeting a significant amount of the Pakistan’s energy requirements.
From an economic point of view, Sui gas field is of immense importance for the country. It is the single largest source of energy supply for different industries, power generation, agriculture, commerce and household use in the country.