ISLAMABAD: Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that five more liquefied natural gas-based agreements will be signed with Qatar after the government inked a $16-billion deal for gas import a day ago.
Talking to Voice of America on Thursday, he said Pakistan had been passing through a severe energy crisis and LNG import from Qatar would be a positive and welcome step to address the issue.
The two countries have signed three other agreements and memoranda of understanding for cooperation in the fields of radio, television, health and academic research.
Abbasi pointed out that 50% of Pakistan’s energy needs depended on energy produced by gas and LNG import from Qatar had started partially, but the gas was given to consumers on the basis of their need.
Under the agreement with Qatar, three LNG-carrying ships would reach Pakistan every month this year and next, he said, adding the number of vessels would increase to five after 2017.
Responding to a question, the minister said Pakistan had been facing energy crisis for the past several years due to which not only domestic consumers but also the national economy suffered badly.
In his remarks, Sui Southern Gas Company former general manager Brigadier (Retired) Agha Gul noted that the process of LNG purchases from Qatar had been going on from 2004. Talking to Voice of America, Gul stressed that people who had some knowhow of the energy crisis would consider the LNG import project as light at the end of the tunnel.
The deal has come at a time when oil prices stand at sharply lower levels in the international market, which would have a good impact.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2016.