TAPI pipeline project
Pakistan, India, Afghanistan agree on 49.5 cents/mmbtu
By Zeeshan Javaid
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan have agreed on the rate of transit fee on the supply of gas from Turkmenistan and in this connection a final round of negotiations is to be held on May 24 in Turkmenistan.
While addressing a press conference here on Friday, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dr Asim Hussain at his office said, “Three countries have agreed on the rate of 49.5 cents per mmbtu.”
He said, “Consensus on transit fee of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project was a milestone in our history. Negotiations over tariff continued and we can’t disclose anything about it now. Gas import through this project would be cheap as compared to Iran-Pakistan (IP) project and annually $1 billion would be saved.”
Dr Hussain said the negotiations on IP gas project are also in process and the government has a clear stance on this project. Designing work over this project is also in progress and soon the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) agreement would be advertised in the national dailies, he said.
The federal minister said that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a difficult subject as this gas is in less quantity in the world and its requirement is too high.
He said the government is negotiating with Algerian government for importing LNG. The minister said this project would also be advertised after approval from the ECC in the next week meeting. For LNG import project, four construction companies have been given licences for this project and gas would not be much expensive as compared to compressed natural gas (CNG).
The federal minister said that the government with the assistance of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) would establish hundred LPG stations throughout the country during the next two to three months to meet growing energy shortage and as a substitute of CNG. The previous governments had ignored the growing energy requirements, which resulted in present shortfall but during the last four years, 30 to 40 mmcfd gas was added to the national system. He said the main focus of the government is on oil and gas exploration and it’s being hoped that after three to four years the situation will improve.
Talking about the CNG quota system, the minister said that work is in progress over CNG stations policy and in this regard quota system for stations would be announced during the next two weeks. The federal minister rejected the news about non-transparency in the appointments in Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and said that for the appointment of OGDCL’s chairman, the ministry has sent three names to the prime minister for approval.
He further added that it is the mandate of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to give direction of UFG and not of ministry. He said both gas companies in the countries are doing efforts to reduce the ratio of UFG.
Talking about new CNG stations in the country, Dr Asim said that the ministry has stopped 157 licences of new stations because the country is already facing energy shortage and issuance of new licences would increase the problems. He said that if new gas connection would be given to new housing schemes then the gas supply to all sectors would be curtailed.