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Petroleum ministry team to discuss key energy projects in Dubai

A Petroleum Ministry delegation will visit Dubai to discuss crucial oil and gas projects, including Iran-Pakistan, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline projects and setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar with officials of relevant countries, it is learnt. According to sources in the Petroleum Ministry, the team will also participate in a conference on the same theme there.

On the sidelines of the conference, the Petroleum Ministry delegation, which is led by Additional Secretary Aslam Hayat, will take up these issues with Indian, Iranian and Afghan officials as well as representatives of international oil and gas exploration and production companies.

Sources said that issues relating to oil and gas exploration, import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), setting up of power projects would also be discussed with the partner countries and stakeholders. Pakistan is keen to initiate import of 500 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of LNG and this issue will also be discussed with potential suppliers, sources said, adding that the new government wanted to start LNG import as quickly as possible to resolve the ongoing power crisis.

"Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up a state-of-the-art oil refinery with a daily crude oil refining capacity of 400,000 barrels and we will discuss this issue with the Iranian delegation," sources maintained. "To take Pakistan out of the energy crisis, the country needs to complete construction of Iran-Pakistan pipeline on schedule. Pakistan also needs to work rapidly on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project which will carry a total 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas per day (BCFD) of which Pakistan and India share 1.325 BCFD each and remaining 500 MMCFD will be utilised by Afghanistan. On immediate basis, import of LNG and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) air-mix projects are only available options for Pakistan," sources stressed.

The government would soon sign an agreement with the Iranian government to set up the biggest oil refinery in the country. The government is learnt to have asked the local refineries to upgrade their units in accordance with international standards and by the end of 2015 only Euro-II standard diesel would be allowed in the country. To upgrade the local refining units, an estimated cost of $2.4 billion is projected of which 20 percent would be borne by the government. The government has, in principle, decided to break up the Sui-Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) and Sui-Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) to minimise the unaccounted for gas (UfG) loss, besides reforming the domestic gas distribution system.

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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln