'Govt has no option but to ration gas in winter'.

ISLAMABAD -- Petroleum Division on Thursday told a parliamentary panel that there was no option but natural gas rationing in the coming winter in view of the increasing shortage every year.

Testifying before the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Petroleum, Additional Secretary Incharge Capt (retd) Muhammad Mahmood made it clear that every effort would be made to ensure gas supply to domestic consumers for three hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and three hours in the evening.

'There would be no gas supply (to household consumers) for 16 hours,' he said, adding that natural gas was scarce in the country and the coming winter was quite difficult in terms of gas availability and hence could be provided only three times a day to domestic consumers for cooking.

The meeting of the committee presided over by Amir Talal Gopang was also told that local gas production was declining at the rate of 10pc every year and there would be no indigenous gas supply after 10 years if the situation continued.

16-hour loadshedding planned for domestic consumers, NA panel told

Regarding the diversion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to household sector as had been the practice in the past, the secretary petroleum said the authorities could not purchase expensive LNG and sell it cheaper and LNG was not available at higher rates either.

He said there were prospective areas in the country with gas deposits but the exploration was not possible due to security reasons. 'There are no new discoveries of gas due to security risk and political instability, he added, explaining that instead of coming to Pakistan the big international petroleum companies were going to other low-risk countries in search of oil and gas.

Due to political instability, international oil and gas companies are not ready to invest here, Secretary Petroleum said and...

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