Pakistan's demand for natural gas is anticipated to double by the year 2005, an increase which the country require an increase in gas imports, the state-run Sui Southern Gas Company
(SSGC) said. SSGC managing director Mukhtar Ahmed said
gas supplies of 500 million cu. ft. (14.16 million cu. m) per day from five new fields would be available by the end of 2002, but high local demand required other options such as imports. Currently, Pakistan produces 2.4 billion cubic cu. ft. (67.96 million cu. m) a day, one billion cu. ft. a day short of the domestic demand.
Ahmed said that gas demand would grow by 3,581 million cu. ft. per day in 2005 and projections for the year 2010 was 3,868 million cu. ft. per day. In recent years, Pakistan has been considering plans to bring gas by pipelines from Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar but none of these has materialized yet.
The country has recently discovered gas reserves of up to six trillion cu. ft. that could add more than one billion cu. ft. a day of output over the next seven years. Ahmed said a decision to switch from furnace oil to gas for electricity production needed additional gas supplies.
"The SSGC is supplying 20 million cu. ft. per day of gas to Karachi Electricity Corporation's (KESC) power plant while the requirement is 176 million cu. ft. per day," he said.
Ahmed said KESC's requirement would be met from supplies from gas fields managed by the British oil firm Lasmo Plc at Bhit in the southern province of Sindh. Lasmo would supply 270 million cu. ft. per day of natural gas when
the field is fully developed.