Sunday, March 11, 2012

Energy shortage: an unfortunate menace for Pakistan

Today, energy security is not only the principal driving factor behind the economic development of any state but also the most contested field among states as well.

Faced with acute energy crisis Pakistan, too, stands in the same queue. Presently, Pakistan is fulfilling its energy needs through the consumption of gas, oil, and coal. Of these, natural gas is the primary energy source, which accounts for 43.7 percent in total energy consumption of Pakistan. Decades long neglect, mismanagement and lack of investment in energy development sector has made the intermittent gas and electricity outages the order of the day in recent years.

Consequently, daily life has been crippled across the country, leading towards the closure of hundreds of industrial units while leaving millions of people unemployed.

Recent years have seen significant gap between supply and demand of gas i.e. nearly one billion cubic feet per day (BCFD). According to the estimates of Ministry of Petroleum, natural gas shortfall against committed supplies remained around 1.1 million cubic feet per day (MCFD) in January 2012 and will swell to 1.4 MCFD in February before easing down to 726 MCFD in March. The energy scarcity in the country is likely to worsen in coming years with gas shortfalls estimated to reach 2.5 BCFD in 2014-15, 3 BCFD in 2015-16 and 3.5 BCFD in 2016-17. Hence, the gap is likely to shoot up to 5 BCFD in 2020-21, unless major gas discoveries and field developments are made. Read More

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