Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to prepare a comprehensive strategy to meet energy needs, particularly the demand for gas and oil, for the next two years.
He also stressed that a gas load management plan should be prepared and announced immediately.
He was talking to Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House on Wednesday.
The prime minister reiterated the government’s commitment to explore all possible options to ensure supply of electricity and gas in the country. He expressed confidence that besides tapping domestic sources, agreements with regional countries to meet energy needs would bring positive results.
Earlier, the petroleum minister briefed the prime minister on his recent visit to Iran and a meeting with the Iranian energy minister. He said a gas pipeline stretched over 1,100 km had been completed on the Iranian side while progress on the pipeline project on the Pakistani side was quite satisfactory.
Discussing import of electricity from Iran, he pointed out that an Iranian team of experts would arrive in Pakistan soon to assess feasibility of the project, particularly establishing connection with the national grid.
Hussain said work on Kunner-Pasakhi Deep oil and gas exploration project had started and 100 million cubic feet of gas would be available from October this year.
Discussing progress on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, he said 17 businesses had shown interest in supply of gas to Pakistan, of which prominent bidders were Shell, Vitol, GDF, Norwegian Fund and Daewoo Group. They also talked about the prospects of gas price rationalisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2011.