Wednesday April 17, 2024

Govt sets timelines for energy projects, including Iran-Pipeline oversight

By Tanveer Malik
March 15, 2024
Workers can be seen working on a gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File
Workers can be seen working on a gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The government has outlined strict timelines for its Petroleum and Power Divisions to expedite various energy projects, including the immediate formation of an inter-provincial committee to oversee the Iran-Pakistan Pipeline Project, according to an official document.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Petroleum Division to conduct an in-depth study and propose exploration activities for the offshore basin within three months. The division is also tasked with hiring a consultant within two months to assist in offshore gas exploration deals. In a move to address the persistent issue of circular debt, the Petroleum and Power Divisions are to jointly devise a plan and establish a Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) for effective monitoring within two weeks.

Additionally, they have mandated for the arrangement of a signing ceremony for Refinery Upgrade Agreements under the Brownfield Refinery Policy in the same timeframe.

To promote solar energy, the Power Division has been given one month to resolve net metering issues. The government has also called for a report on the status of Energy Conservation Standards for home appliances within three days.

In response to the country's surplus power capacity, a proposal for the development of industrial zones is expected to be prepared and presented within a month. Furthermore, the Petroleum Division is instructed to appoint a consultant in three months to evaluate losses due to infrastructure degradation, gas theft, and inefficiency, and to propose solutions.

A third-party forensic analysis of the revenue requirements for Sui companies, as determined by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), has been ordered to be conducted within a month.

The government also anticipates a presentation on the Weighted Average Cost of Gas (WACOG), the mineral sector, offshore gas, tight gas, the unbundling of Sui companies, and standards for energy efficiency for home appliances within the same period.