Pakistan mulled 3 options for LNG deal: Minister

Speaking to Oil & Gas Middle East in Abu Dhabi in January, Pakistan's Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources, before the deal with Qatar, said the country had a three-pronged strategy for importing much-needed natural gas

Jam Kamal Khan, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources. (ITP Photography/Grace Guino)
Jam Kamal Khan, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources. (ITP Photography/Grace Guino)

Qatar and Pakistan last week signed a long-term natural gas deal, as part of which Qatargas will supply the Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO) with up to 3.75mn tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for 15 years.

Speaking to Oil & Gas Middle East on the sidelines of the 7th Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi in January, when negotiations between Qatar and Pakistan was (still) in its advanced stages, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources said the country had a three-pronged strategy for importing much-needed natural gas to provide for its 190mn (and growing) population and for vital power generation purposes.

“In terms of LNG supplies, almost two years back, when we started a new administration in Pakistan (led by PM Nawaz Sharif), one of our main focus was how to diversify getting energy into the country,” Jam Kamal Khan told the magazine.

“Then we started considering three strategies. The first one was going for a long-term contract with any of the sovereign oil and gas producing countries, at a government-to-government level. The second strategy was to go for an open bid supply from the market, which was again going to have a mid-range time period of 3 to 5 years. And then we had a plan of buying from the spot market too,” Khan exclusively revealed.

“We eventually went with a government-to-government deal with Qatar; Qatargas to be specific. Our talks and negotiations are very much in the final stages, and most probably in a few weeks’ time, we do expect to see signatures on the final deal,” Khan predicted almost a month before the deal.

As part of the deal, which has been valued at a total of $16bn, Qatar is to meet about 20% of the energy-starved South Asian country's gas requirements, and the first cargo is expected to dock at a Pakistani port as early as this month.

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