Trouble in the pipeline

Published: Friday 28 February 2003

the Pakistan government has halted compressed natural gas (cng) supply to all gas stations and industries in the North West Frontier Province (nwfp), Punjab and the capital city of Islamabad. This move follows the recent rupture of two major pipelines connecting the country's gas transmission network with the Sui gas fields in Baluchistan. Sources voiced suspicion that sabotage was the cause of the incident.

The government has set up a high-level committee to probe the incident. "We are, at present, arranging cng from sources other than Sui, in the northern part of the country," revealed Abdullah Yusuf, secretary, petroleum and natural resources, Pakistan.

About 900 small and big industrial units in Punjab and nwfp are said to have been closed temporarily due to the disruption. The incident has had an adverse effect on domestic consumers and the cng-run transport system, with over 300 gas stations falling short of supply. Even, the exchequer will lose Rs 150-million in terms of wastage of gas. The loss to the industrial sector, particularly in Punjab, could be even higher.

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