ISLAMABAD: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil and gas company, has inked a deal with Universal Gas Distribution Company Pvt Ltd (UGDC) wherein the company would be importing private LNG for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
“Following the agreement, the first shipment of LNG is expected by the next month; the development is expected to change the entire gas landscape of Pakistan,” a statement issued on Wednesday read.
The agreement was signed by UGDC CEO Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha and ExxonMobil Vice President Richard Rayfieldin in the American city of Houston.
UGDC was the first company to receive a private gas marketing licence in Pakistan.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, ExxonMobil LNG Market Development Chairman Alex Volkov, Market Development President Irtiza Sayyed, ExxonMobil Country Manager Pakistan Shahrukh Mirza, senior officials of petroleum ministry and UGDC were also present on the occasion.
UGDC is a private gas distribution company incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and licenced by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority(OGRA).
“This is a historic day as ExxonMobil has decided to invest in Pakistan after a gap of 20 years,” Nadeem Babar said, pledging that the investors would be provided with an enabling environment in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“The deal is an honour for Pakistan and we will promote ease of doing business to ensure investment in all the sectors, including the energy sector,” he maintained.
The petroleum adviser said that the government wanted to come out of the gas import bill and this deal is the first step in that direction. Investment by ExxonMobil would also propel other energy companies to invest in Pakistan, which would bring down the price of gas significantly, he added.
Alex Volkov and Irtiza Sayyed said they decided to invest in Pakistan after two decades with a vision to provide economical and environmentally-friendly gas to the consumers on a regular basis.
“We will support UGDC so that it can overcome the shortage of gas in Pakistan,” said Alex Volkov.
Ghiyas Paracha said that the government had changed its ‘third-party rules’ to allow the private sector to import gas. “Now we will be able to buy surplus gas from terminals and also fuel from five upcoming terminals, which will revive the CNG sector.”
He said following the move, the gap between the prices of CNG and petrol would be reduced, fares would be decreased, $1 billion of foreign exchange per annum would be saved, two million vehicles would be converted to CNG and foreign investment would be attracted for the import of CNG kits and cylinders.