Govt eyeing on imported gas to meet energy needs: Mirza

ISLAMABAD: The present government was eyeing on imported gas along with accelerating local oil and gas exploration and production activities to meet ever-growing energy needs in the country, Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Arshad Mirza said Wednesday.

“The country has no option other than to import gas whether it was Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) or Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects as the country’s existing reserves are depleting and there is no major find since long,” he said.

He was addressing the participants of a seminar, organized by Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, titled “Transparency in public sector: An appraisal.” Sharing achievements of the government, the secretary said 2015 had been a breakthrough year’ in energy sector of the country due to commencement of first-ever LNG terminal in Pakistan on March 27, 2015, bringing Pakistan on the global LNG map.

He said 200 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) of regassified-LNG was being supplied to the power sector, minimizing load-shedding and reducing the power generation cost by about Rs. 66 billion per annum. During tenure of the current government, Mirza said, the country had witnessed oil production levels exceeding 1,00,000 barrels per day for the first time in its history.

He said enhanced exploration and production activities had resulted in additional discoveries of 500 MMCFD of gas, maintaining supplies of gas up to 4 bcfd (billion cubic feet per day).

He said an “Alternative Strategy” had been adopted to implement the IP gas pipeline Project, which faced delay due to international sanctions on Iran. “But, the work on the project on our side is in underway,” he said in reply to a question.

Sui Southern Gas Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, Mirza said, were vigorously undertaking system augmentation projects to carry additional volumes of gas up to 1.2 BCF at the cost of Rs. 133 billion.

Following the selection of “TurkmenGas” as consortium leader, he said, the prospects of implementation of the TAPI Project would be brighter.

Ground breaking of the project was performed on December 13 this year in Turkmenistan. He said “Shale Gas Study” conducted by US experts had shown promising potential of this unconventional hydrocarbon resource in the country.

“Pakistan is also blessed with huge shale gas and oil resources in lower-mid Indus basins with 95 TCF (trillion cubic feet) risked technically recoverable free gas and 14 Billion Barrels of risked technically recoverable oil.”

He said the Ministry of Petroleum was committed to enhance oil and gas exploration activities, implementation of transnational gas projects, execute gas infrastructure projects, import of 2 bcfd LNG, increase LPG supplies, separation of transmission and distribution system of gas companies, installation of LPG-air-mix plants in remote areas and import of RON 92 (Green Fuel Technology).


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