ISLAMABAD -   The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is optimistic about ensuring smooth supply of gas to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations during the upcoming winter season after import of LNG.

"The gas situation is improving gradually, especially after arrival of the imported LNG and 84 new oil and gas reserves discoveries. Hence, this winter, the supply will be better as compared to previous years," official sources told APP.

They, however, said the government was making all-out efforts to keep the gap between demand and supply of gas at the lowest level during peak of the winter season, adding that the load would also be managed based on requirements.

Answering a question, they informed that currently there was uninterrupted gas supply to domestic, commercial, industrial, power, fertiliser and CNG sectors.

Commenting on oil and gas exploration activities, they said that oil and gas exploration companies, operating in different parts of the country, had made 84 discoveries during the last three years.

“Following these discoveries, around 631 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) and 27,359 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) have been added to the system,” the sources elaborated.

Replying to a question, they said that imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was playing a major role in meeting the energy needs as regular shipments of the commodity were arriving after signing of the LNG import agreement with Qatar by Pakistan last year.

“The government has initiated different gas related projects worth Rs800 billion to steer the country out of energy crisis, the sources said, and added, "By the grace of Allah (The Almighty), Pakistan will have surplus power by 2018."

Meanwhile, a representative of All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association (APCNGA) has expressed confidence that the CNG sector, affected by the gas shortage, will revive completely due to increased import of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

Answering a question, he admitted that presently the CNG stations were not attracting motorists, as the latter were uncertain about the sector’s future.

At the same time, however, he expressed the confidence that "future will be of the inexpensive and environment-friendly fuel, which is almost 30 percent economical than petrol at the existing rates."

Currently, he said, more than 3,416 CNG stations were operational in the country fulfilling the fuel need of the gas-run vehicles.