The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has dismissed reports suggesting a resumption of gas load-shedding during daylight hours in the southern regions of Pakistan. In a statement issued on Thursday, the gas utility clarified that the claims circulating on both traditional and social media regarding the notification of gas shutdown hours in the afternoon are entirely baseless.
According to the SSGC, the disruption in the underground gas line pack was a result of low pressure, leading to a temporary impact on the gas supply in certain areas of Karachi. However, the issue was resolved and the gas supply was fully restored by 6 am.
The statement further highlighted that the country is currently experiencing a 10% annual depletion in its gas reserves, which has subsequently reduced the amount of gas received by the SSGC. Consequently, the demand and supply gap has widened even during the summer season.
Acknowledging these challenges, the gas utility explained that consumers might experience a sudden drop in gas pressure, as observed on the previous day. However, residents of areas such as Gulistan-e-Jouhar and North Karachi refuted the SSGC’s claims, stating that they have been facing gas load shedding for the past few days.
Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik had previously emphasized that the availability of gas to the general public cannot be ensured around the clock due to a decline in reserves. Pakistan heavily relies on natural gas for energy, and the growing demand coupled with insufficient supply has resulted in regular load shedding across many parts of the country.
This situation exacerbates during the winter season and Ramadan when gas usage surges, particularly during sehri (pre-dawn meal) and iftar (meal to break the fast). Recognizing the severity of the gas shortage issue in Karachi, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed relevant officials to ensure an uninterrupted supply of this essential commodity.
The challenges faced by the SSGC and the overall gas crisis in Pakistan underscore the need for effective measures to address the widening demand and supply gap. Efforts must be made to explore alternative energy sources and enhance the country’s energy infrastructure to meet the growing needs of the population.