Oct 112017
PTI criticises PMon LNG deal but spares then petroleum secretary

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Sheikh Rashid have criticized Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, accusing him of pocketing millions of dollars in the LNG deal with Qatar, but they… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

Aug 092017

ISLAMABAD: Family links to Pakistan’s powerful military and a cabinet stint championing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will probably help new prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi navigate thorny relations with the army and curb rolling blackouts. How Abbasi, the co-founder of a budget airline (Air Blue) and a skydiving fan, tackles those two issues may define his tenure as he seeks to tilt the next general election, due in mid-2018, toward Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). PM Abbasi, army chief meet amid apparent strain in civil-military ties Ousted leader Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last month and within days had installed Abbasi as a temporary prime minister. Nawaz then had a change of heart about plans to elevate his brother as long-term leader. With Abbasi, 58, now likely to stay on until the election, the opposition is training its cross hairs on him while voters seek clues as to what he can accomplish in less than a year as the leader of a nuclear-armed nation of 190 million. U.S-educated Abbasi has been frank about Nawaz’s role as the power behind the throne but those close to him expect a slightly different approach to the army. “He is going to repair the relationship and have a better communication channel to the army than Nawaz,” said a senior PML-N official. “Shahid is very pragmatic and aware that the army is there, and you can’t just wish them away.” Nawaz has endured fraught relations with the military during his three stints in power [Read More…]

Aug 012017
ICST supports govt decision to establish two more LNG terminals

Islamabad: The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Tuesday said business community fully supports the government decision to establish two more LNG terminals with the help of private sector… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

Apr 032017
No power

Despite the government’s claims, the energy crisis will not be resolved by 2018. According to some media reports, the State of Industry Report 2016 of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) says that electricity loadshedding would persist in 2018. The report further states that although it may be possible to generate enough power by 2018, the distribution companies would not be able to supply it to the consumers because of inadequate transmission network and other constraints. On the other hand, a report by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) projects that gas loadshedding will continue until 2030, in spite of the import of LNG from Qatar and the completion of projects like Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline projects. One wonders what the present government, with its myopic vision and flawed planning, has so far achieved in reality to address the energy crisis that was once its top priority. Hussain Siddiqui Islamabad Click for detailed story

Jan 142017
Gas shortage

Earlier in the year 2016, Pakistan signed a LNG supply agreement with Qatar. The Ministry of Petroleum then claimed that the problem of gas shortage will be solved soon. Almost a year has been passed since the deal, but nothing has changed. In Punjab, winters and gas shortage arrived simultaneously. The people are facing a lot of difficulties in carrying out their daily routine. Cooking daily meals has become a nuisance in households. In the cold weather, gas heaters cannot be turned on owing to gas shortage. Apart from making claims of putting an end to gas shortage, the government promised to deal with the country’s energy crisis as well. One wonders how it will be able to fulfil its promise when it is continuously failing to do something about gas shortage. It is unfortunate that these problems are still deeply rooted in the country. For dealing with gas shortage, a few CNG stations were closed down but that too couldn’t leave any positive impact. Zaheer Ahmed Islamabad Click for detailed story

Dec 092016

ISLAMABAD: The government has planned to relax rules governing public procurement and the bidding process in a bid to award multibillion-rupee contracts without facing obstacles, say officials. Earlier, the government has drawn flak for violating public procurement rules in the award of lucrative contracts. For instance, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal-building contract given to the Engro group by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) sparked scathing criticism of the government, which was forced to float a tender. The cabinet, in its meeting held on November 23, considered a proposal for amending the public procurement rules of 2004. It reviewed a summary submitted by the Cabinet Division for amendments and constituted a committee to make changes to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Ordinance 2002 and PPRA Rules 2004. The committee will be headed by Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and comprise Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, States and Frontier Regions Minister Lieutenant General (Retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood. The cabinet was informed that consultations had not been held with public-sector organisations that made big procurements and it would be appropriate to address their concerns while amending the PPRA ordinance and rules. Section 26 of the PPRA Ordinance 2002 gives powers to the federal government to make rules for meeting purposes of the ordinance. The PPRA board, in its meeting held on October 19, 2016 had also decided to introduce certain amendments to rules 12, 42 and 45 of [Read More…]

Mar 282014
LNG to be imported from Qatar at lowest possible price: Khaqan

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was assured on Friday that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will be imported from Qatar at the lowest possible price.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the House during question hour that the government is currently negotiating the procurement of LNG, reported Radio Pakistan.

He said its import is likely to commence towards the end of the current year.

The minister said the price of LNG has not been negotiated yet and will be done so in a transparent manner, adding that the price of LNG will be kept 30 percent below the price of petroleum.

Speaking about the construction of the LNG terminal, the minister said its completion is expected by November this year,

In regard to the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, the minister said gas cannot be imported from Iran till the sanctions are lifted on the country.

Abbasi said the 2012 Petroleum Policy has been amended by the present government to enhance exploration of oil and gas in Pakistan.

The minister said the government is exploring all avenues to remove the constraints in gas supply. He said the schedule for CNG stations will be reviewed based on factors such as the weather condition and reduction in consumption by the domestic sector.

Abbasi said Balochistan is being given priority in the supply of gas.

Despite difficulty in extending the network for the supply of gas to the entire province due to scattered population and a hilly terrain, 13 district headquarters and 25 tehsil headquarters have been connected with gas in the province.

Mar 212014
Gas shortage: ‘LNG import project must begin immediately’

FAISALABAD: The government of Pakistan should expedite the process for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), with clear instructions to concerned quarters to complete the required infrastructure so that the first LNG consignment could reach Pakistan by the end of this year before the peak winter season, said Suhail Bin Rashid, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, on Friday.

Rashid said that Pakistan was facing an energy crisis with the main reason for short supply of electricity being the gas shortage. He said that efforts are being made to add maximum electricity to the national grid within the current year but, until now no practical steps have been taken to meet the shortfall of gas in the beginning of the winter season. He did, however, appreciate the government’s efforts to import LNG from Qatar or Saudi Arabia, but added that practical steps are needed to be taken in this direction

Rashids said that Pakistan’s demand for gas was expected to double in the next 10 years and current gas production at 4 billion cubic feet a day (BCFD) was less than the required 6 BCFD. At the current rate of growth, by 2020, the demand could touch 13 BCFD, he added.

He said that due to the shortfall, value-added textile units are either shut down or forced to reduce their production. This situation could create an embarrassing situation for the textile exporters who were unable fulfil their Christmas-related demands. This would also create a bad image to international community and buyers to switch over their export orders to other countries. He said that the government should take this issue as a challenge and pro-active policies should be adopted to import LNG before the shortfall season.

This would not only save the industrial sector from forced closures but also fulfil their foreign demands well in time. This is also imperative to avoid unemployment in the country. Government will also have additional revenue as the industrial sector will work on full capacity.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2014.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Feb 152014
LNG to be available by end of November: Khaqan Abbasi

ISLAMABAD- Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi hoped that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) would be available in the country by November this year. A state-run radio channel today reported, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the provision of gas to the domestic consumers is a top priority of the government. He said the government is utilizing all its resources to … Click for detailed story

Get Adobe Flash player