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Govt secures LNG from Qatar to meet winter demand

October 22, 2021
Govt secures LNG from Qatar to meet winter demand

LAHORE: Pakistan has succeeded in securing cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar at competitive price to meet winter demand amid unprecedented surging energy costs for the consumers.

“We have got most LNG cargoes in line for November, December and January period,” said Federal Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar on Thursday. The government has been able to source LNG cargoes for winter months from Qatar under long term deal. “Some of the import shipments are from the new Qatar agreement at 10.2 percent of Brent,” Azhar added.

The minister confirmed the deal but did not elaborate number of cargoes they booked for November to January period.

Pakistan earlier last week did not receive a single quotation in a bidding process for spot purchase seeking eight LNG cargoes for delivery over December to January period, raising concerns about a potential energy crisis amid peak demand.

The minister was upbeat about meeting seasonal peak demand through a combination of measures being taken.

At a time when LNG is not only witnessing all-time high prices but sourcing this transition energy has become an uphill task for many importing countries, consumers in Pakistan are bracing themselves for severe natural gas crisis during winter.

“As country is heading towards a potentially severe LNG crunch in a couple of months, there is dire need to aggressively source natural gas from wherever deem feasible,” said an industry official. The reliance on regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) has been on the rise with depleting domestic reserves of natural gas. Thermal power generation with RLNG proved to be a relatively new addition, helping produce clean energy on competitive rates.

Significant growth of RLNG usage in energy mix has helped for improved supply to various power plants. RLNG is also supplied to fertilizer plants, industrial and transport sectors. It is learnt that government is trying to explore all options to meet peak winter demand of natural gas. Natural Gas crisis would be catastrophic in harsh winter in the absence of spot purchases, which are hard to find these days amid rare demand across the world.

The present government is employing proactive and innovative approach for sustaining LNG supplies while extending outreach on war footing basis through trade diplomacy and consultation with stakeholders.

In the global market, the spot LNG prices are already trading at record levels amid high demand from almost all major importing nations in Europe and Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, China and India. Subsequently, there has been five time increase in the price of spot LNG cargo since early 2021 as gap between demand and supply widens.