ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that the total value of the estimated gas stolen between January and December 2013 is Rs 7.708 billion.
In a written reply to the National Assembly, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the gas theft has been carried out in different parts of the country. Through a supplementary question, the minister also said that Pakistan cannot import gas under the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project unless the international sanctions on Iran are lifted completely. “Even if the gas pipeline which is to be laid in Pakistan is completed, Pakistan can still not get gas due to the sanctions,” Abbasu said.
The minister informed the Lower House of parliament that as per the estimates provided by the consultants the cost of Pakistan’s part of the project is $1.8 billion. He said ideally the project should be implemented with use of indigenous resources as far as possible. The project could not be started due to various factors, including procurement issues, geopolitical/international restrictions and implications. Abbasi said, “Pipeline imports are being pursued for medium term-relief, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project has currently implementation constraints due to international sanctions. “We are hopeful that Pakistan will be able to achieve a surplus gas situation during the tenure of the present government,” the minister claimed.
To another query, the minister said there are potential shale gas reserves in Pakistan and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has recently launched a study with the assistance of USAID for their assessment. Under this study, shale gas reserves will be estimated and framework for shale gas policy will be developed.
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