Cost effective gas supply ensured for all consumers : PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi has said that the government has ensured cost-effective and efficient supply of gas to all the consumers in the country.

Enumerating the government’s performance in the oil and gas sector at a news conference here Wednesday, he said we have addressed the issue of gas shortages and today the world’s prominent companies are expressing interest to invest billions of dollars in the LNG sector.

He said Pakistan is being dubbed as a success story in the LNG sector and the price of imported gas is the lowest in the world. As a result of this imported gas, the wheel of industry and fertilizers has been revived.

Additional imported gas will also be provided to the domestic consumers. The Prime Minister said that the power generation from the gas is also helping produce cheap electricity and helping save billions of dollars in foreign exchange. Gas fired plants are more efficient than those powered by furnace oil.

He reminded that Pakistan imported one million tones of fertilizer when it assumed the power in 2013. However, as a result of the availability of sufficient gas, the country was able to export six hundred thousand tones of fertilizer last year.

The Prime Minister said that one hundred and sixteen oil and gas discoveries were made during the last five years which is a record. These discoveries added thirty-five thousand barrels of oil and nine hundred million cubic feet of gas to the system.

He said four hundred and forty-five wells were drilled during this period. Of these, two hundred and twenty-five were exploratory wells. He said the total discoveries reflect the success rate of fifty per cent which is a great achievement.

Shahid Khaqan Abbassi said that the present government laid transmission lines of seventeen hundred kilometres of forty-two-inch diameter at a cost of two hundred billion rupees. The government also made arrangements for the laying of the North-South Pipeline with the cooperation of Russia and China.

In addition, the Prime Minister said the government also laid distribution pipelines of twenty-five thousand kilometre which is a record. He said over the last five years, two million new gas connections were provided and these were provided through a transparent mechanism.

About the TAPI project, the Prime Minister said work on this important project is continuing and the country will start receiving gas from it by 2020. Turning to LPG, the Prime Minister said its production more than doubled during the tenure of the present government. He said in the past, LPG quotas were doled out but these are sold through competitive bidding.

He said LPG air-mix plants are being installed in areas where the supply of piped gas is not possible. These include every district headquarters of Balochistan, Chitral, Gilgit, Azad Kashmir, Murree and Kahuta. A similar plant would also be set up in Skardu within two-three years.

The Prime Minister said despite opposition by vested interests, the government introduced quality diesel and petrol in the country which was not only environment and vehicle friendly, but also led to a reduction in price. He said the cabinet has approved the deregulation of diesel and its deregulation can be done at an appropriate time.

He said work has also been initiated for transmission of oil from Karachi to Peshawar through a pipeline. He said the first phase from Karachi to Multan would complete by the next year and as a result, the cost of transportation would come down.

Prime Minister Abbasi said nowhere in the world furnace oil is used because of its adverse implications. With this in view, there is no import of furnace oil for eight months and its import would come to an end next year.

He said two refineries would be set up beside increasing the capacity of the existing refinery in Karachi from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand barrels.

He said PARCO coastal refinery would be completed in three years at a cost of five billion dollars and this would be the largest industrial undertaking in the history of Pakistan. The second mid-country refinery would be set up near Lahore at a cost of six to seven billion rupees and will have a capacity of three hundred thousand barrels of oil.

Replying to a question, the Prime Minister said Pakistan entered into a gas import contract with Qatar at the lowest rates in the world. To another question, he said oil prices in Pakistan are less than most of the oil importing countries.

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