STAFF REPORT IBD: Despite massive shortage of gas, the two state-owned gas companies have continued to build new pipelines, spending Rs 123 billion over the last six years to add approximately 2 million more consumers to the gas grid.

The government had a gas allocation plan as early as 2005 but did not bother to implement it that led to the present gas crisis in the country, sources said.

Details say that between July 2005 and June 2011, SNGPL had laid approximately 35,000-km long pipelines costing Rs80 billion to provide gas to 1.45 million new consumers. SNGPL over the same period spent Rs43 billion in laying 14,000-km ongs.

These projects added an average of about 1,390 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of demand to the gas system in the country. About 830 mmcfd came from the additions to the SNGP network while about 567 mmcfd came from the expansion of the SSGC network between 2005 and 2011.

“It is pathetic that the gas companies are expanding their network without keeping in view the gas reserves depletion,” said one official at the OGRA.

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