Islamabad – Pakistan has signed an agreement with Qatar to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first shipment is expected by end of March, Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said.
The LNG import price will be presented for approval to the Economic Coordination Committee, the highest economic-decision making body, official Radio Pakistan reported.
Pakistan has a chronic energy problem which has deepened in recent years. Gas shortages peaked to around 2 billion cubic feet per day in 2014, forcing the government to cut supplies to domestic and commercial consumers. Electricity shortages have caused many factories to close in recent years.
The South Asian nation has been trying for years to meet shortages through import of gas from countries like Qatar. A multi-billion dollar project to pump gas from Iran has been stagnant due to international sanctions. Pakistan is aiming to import up to 3 million tons of LNG annually, most of it will come from Qatar.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad on March 13, Minister Abbasi said that the LNG will be provided to four power plants in the central Punjab province and the state-run KAPCO in the first phase. The electricity generation through LNG will cut the production cost by 40 percent as compared to diesel power generation, he added.
Kuwait Signs Agreement For Oil Exploration in Pakistan
Pakistan on March 13 also signed an agreement with a Kuwaiti company for exploration of oil in the country. Pakistan currently produces about 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, is an international oil company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas in 15 countries world-wide, according to an official statement by the Pakistan government.
The company has been active in Pakistan since 1987 with over $1 billion in investment and currently holding working interests in Qadirpur, Zamzama, Kadanwari, Bhit, Bahdra, Sikhpur and Bolan Blocks, and is ranked 3rd largest producer of gas amongst foreign exploration and production companies working in Pakistan.