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Lahore
Thursday, May 19, 2022
EditorialSeverity of gas crisis

Severity of gas crisis

An impending gas crisis is looming large even in summer as the Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) has failed to procure LNG from the spot market at a reasonable price for April, May and June 2022 with severe liquidity issues linked to the circular debt. Reportedly, only eight LNG cargoes will be imported for April against the demand of 12 cargoes. It seems that the previous Imran Khan-led PTI government failed to take a timely decision amid the political crisis, whose ill effects will take a toll on the masses. It adds to the list of failures of the previous government in tackling various challenges faced by the countrymen. Why did the government not take pre-emptive measures to avert the crisis during the last three and a half years? Of course, there are other options available to avert the severity of the gas crisis but so far, mismanagement has left citizens to brave one of the worst gas crises in the country. Other options include but are not limited to the Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline, which could not be completed yet due to US sanctions. Another source is the coal reserves as Pakistan has one of the largest reserves of this fossil fuel but the present and successive governments have failed to evolve a policy and mechanism to take benefit from this huge energy resource. Third, the government is relying on purchasing LNG from Qatar which also requires costly infrastructure like building of terminals.

The exploration of new gas reserves needs to be expedited along with issuing warnings to the general public about the depletion of existing reserves. Moreover, no natural resource can be used forever, only the management of resources can save the masses from undergoing the agony of non-availability of an essential energy resource. Even the oil and gas-rich countries of the Middle East are seriously looking at post-oil/gas bust time and how they will support their bloated economies of habitual consumption of foreign goods and services. Everyone will eventually have to go back to coal and wood burning for fuel if available resources are not managed properly. A policy on gas use needs to be evolved.

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