2,500 mmcfd LNG being imported from Qatar monthly: PD

ISLAMABAD: The government is importing around 2,500 mmcfd Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) every month to meet energy needs of the country, official sources in Petroleum Division of Ministry of Energy said Friday.

At present, five cargoes of capacity of around 140,000 cubic meters LNG, which translates into 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas, are being imported from Qatar on a monthly basis, they told reporter.

“This, on an annual basis, is around 3.75 million tonn per annum (MTPA), whereas another 0.75 MTPA LNG is imported through term tender arrangement which is not origin specific. Thus a total of 4.5 MTPA LNG is being imported currently in the country,” the sources said.

Answering a question, they informed that Pakistan State Oil signed a 15-year agreement with Qatar in February 2016 and so far 76 LNG cargoes had been imported from Qatar gas.

The agreement was signed under Government to Government arrangement between PSO and Qatargas.

The LNG deal started doing wonders when the imported gas fed industries, CNG stations, gas-fired power generation plants and fertilizer sector, giving an impetus to economic activities in the country.

“The country had no option other than to import gas whether it is LNG or through Iran-Pakistan and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-India gas pipeline projects as the country’s existing reserves are depleting and there is no major find since long,” the sources said.

They expressed confidence that the LNG import would prove to be a game-changer for Pakistan because it was considered an essential part of the energy mix needs of emerging economies.

The world is turning towards LNG and emerging economies such as China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, European Union, and Brazil ensure that LNG remains part of their energy mix requirements.

Japan is importing 80 million tons of LNG every year (MTPA) and India 15 MTPA to the commodity’s low price and efficiency as compared to other fuels.

Pakistan’s gas supply-demand gap has reached 4 billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) as total unconstrained gas demand of the country is 8 BCFD against total supply of 4 BCFD. Needless to say in winter the demand rapidly increases.

They said LNG was the cheapest alternative fuel and the only instant available remedy to meet the country’s energy needs when the existing natural gas reserves were diminishing.

“LNG is available to consumers at cheaper rate than LPG. RLNG price for consumers will be lower than the prices of other alternate fuels. The price of LNG for consumers is Rs 850 per MMBTU as compared to home delivered price of LPG at Rs 2,000 per MMBTU and domestically produced natural gas is priced up to Rs 700 per MMBTU,” the sources said.

The LNG greatly helped in meeting the country’s energy requirements as all gas-based power generation plants are now functioning fully, over 1200 CNG stations restarted their operations, industrial and fertilizer sectors getting uninterrupted supply, which is not less than any miracle.

Before LNG import, the sources said, Pakistan was importing upto 2 million tons of urea fertilizer to meet deficit due to shortage of gas and now it was exporting over 500,000 tons of fertilizer and entire power generation sector is getting full gas supply, besides Nandipur power plant had also been converted on RLNG. Three new power plants with capacity of 3600 MW are running on LNG, they added.

Replying to another question, the sources said, Pakistan was building deeper relations with many countries through oil and gas deals on a government-to-government basis after the successful model of oil imports from Kuwait, and in this context, LNG import deals with various countries, including China, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Oman were being negotiated.