Fast-track licence issuance for domestic gas exploration: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed authorities to ensure fast-track issuance of licences for domestic exploration, terming it the cheapest source of natural gas.

He issued the directions on Wednesday while discussing the current demand and supply of gas in the country.

The premier also instructed the relevant departments to remove hurdles in the process of installation of new LNG terminals and virtual pipeline projects by the investors.

Emphasising the importance of the North-South Gas Pipeline, PM Imran directed officials to ensure its execution without further delay within the agreed timelines.

According to Prime Minister’s Office Twitter handle, the premier chaired the high-level meeting to review the “gas situation in Pakistan”.

“The meeting was briefed about the demand, supply from the domestic reserves, shortfall and Import of LNG,” it added.

Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI chaired a high level meeting to review gas situation in Pakistan.

The meeting was briefed about the demand, supply from the domestic reserves, shortfall and Import of LNG.
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) December 29, 2021

Also read: Govt cannot provide ‘cheaper gas beyond certain limit’

Earlier, the meeting was briefed about the demand and supply from the domestic reserves, shortfall and Import of the LNG.

The participants were apprised that the current constrained demand for gas in Pakistan is 4,700 mmcfd which increases to 6,000-6,500 mmcfd during the winter season.

They were told that the current domestic supply amounts to 3,300 mmcfd, which is decreasing every year. The resulting shortfall has to be managed by importing LNG.

With the current infrastructure, a shortfall of nearly 1,000 mmcfd in winter arises for which multiple options are being adopted.

Also read: Gas crisis to hit GDP growth

The meeting was further informed that for the short term, the existing capacity of domestic terminals is being optimised and the process of issuance of virtual pipeline licenses is expedited.

In addition, the installation of two new LNG terminals is underway, with all bottlenecks being removed on a priority basis.

In this regard, the ministries of maritime affairs, petroleum, as well as Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) were directed to coordinate and also take all other stakeholders on board including the investors.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Shaukat Fayyaz Tarin, Hammad Azhar, Asad Umar, Ali Haider Zaidi, SAPM Mahmood Maulvi and officials of the departments concerned.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)