ISLAMABAD: In a welcoming development, the Qatar government has agreed to export 3.5 million tonnes LNG to Pakistan to cater to the country’s energy requirements, Dr Asim Hussain, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources, told The News.
“The authorities at Qatar Gas Company want to export the LNG for 15 years, but the Government of Pakistan is asking for the 10-year supply of LNG, fearing the prices may increase after 10 years.”
Dr Asim who, along with managing directors of both the gas utilities, visited Qatar last Sunday and held one-day talks on import of LNG, disclosed that Qatar has basically desired to provide LNG supply for 25 years, but later, it reduced the time span up to 15 years, but Pakistan wants it for 10 years.
The Qatari authorities would also conduct the due diligence of the companies, which have been extended the construction licences of the terminals. However, we have one terminal to import the LNG, but the import of 3.5 million tonnes of LNG requires more terminals.
To a question, he said that the Qatari government has given to the terms sheet and our experts after examining the terms and conditions would offer prices on behalf of the Pakistani government, and this process will take three weeks to complete.
The top man of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources explained that the companies enjoying construction licences for the terminals will have to tell the Qatari government how much capacity of they have to handle the Qatari vessels, carrying the LNG.
He also said that Pakistani experts’ team was also going to India on March 5-6 for study as to whether the import of POL products from India was feasible or not. India has offered to export all kinds of petroleum products to Pakistan. “If kept in view the commercial considerations alone in the deal with India, then it will be beneficial for Pakistan as the freight charges of the POL products from India will be much reduced, and this will provide the country a reasonable solace.”
He said that Indian POL products are Euro-4 complaint whereas in Pakistan, the petroleum products is even not Euro-2 complaint and this is the main reason that environment in India is much better that that of Pakistan as Euro-4 compliant petroleum products are refined enough to keep the environment clean and friendly with masses.
Dr Asim also said in plain words saying if the country’s refineries did not install the hydro crackers in the next three years, their operations will be closed down. “I am also going to Iraq by the mid of March to negotiate the import of oil as Baghdad has offered the oil supply to Pakistan on deferred payment,” the special assistant informed.