Reviewing supply and demand of natural gas in Pakistan, Khan urges authorities to remove hurdles to installation of new LNG terminals, virtual pipeline projects
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed authorities concerned to expedite the issuance of licenses for domestic exploration of natural gas, as it is the cheapest source of supplies needed to overcome prevailing energy requirements.
Chairing a meeting in Islamabad to discuss the supply and demand of natural gas, he emphasized the removal of hurdles to the installation of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and virtual pipeline projects by investors. The meeting’s participants were informed that in the short-term, the government was optimizing the capacity of existing domestic terminals and expediting the process of issuing licenses for virtual pipelines. It was also told that the process to install two new LNG terminals had commenced and all bottlenecks would be remove on priority basis.
To ensure this process is not hampered, the ministries of maritime affairs and petroleum, as well as the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, were directed to coordinate and take all other stakeholders, including investors, on board.
The prime minister emphasized the importance of the North-South Gas Pipeline—connecting Port Qasim in Sindh to Kasur in Punjab—and directed authorities to ensure its execution without further delay in the agreed timelines. The project, a joint venture between Pakistan and Russia, is set to begin construction in 2022.
During the meeting, the federal ministers present were briefed on the demand and supply from domestic reserves, and shortfall and import of LNG. According to the briefing, the current constrained demand of gas in the country was 4,700 million cubic feet per day, which increased to around 6,000 mmcfd in winter. The supply to domestic consumers stood at 3,300 mmcfd, which was being decreased annually.
The prime minister directed the authorities to manage the gas shortfall by importing LNG. He noted that without upgrades, the existing infrastructure still left a shortfall of nearly 1,000 mmcfd in winters for which multiple options were being adopted to overcome.
In addition to the prime minister, the meeting was attended by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin; Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi; Planning Minister Asad Umar; Energy Minister Hammad Azhar; Special Assistant to the P.M. on Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi; and officials of the departments concerned.