Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be completed on time: Minister
The parliament was told Wednesday evening that Iran-Pakistan gas project would be completed in the stipulated time.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed the National Assembly, or Lower House of the parliament, that Pakistan is bound to purchase Gas from Iran by 1st January 2015 otherwise‚ a plenty of three million US dollars per-day will have to pay.
He said despite number of hurdles the government is committed to complete the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project within the stimulated period.
Abbasi said the government is working on a number of projects to overcome the Oil and Gas shortage in the country.
He said that the programmes include Enhancement of Indigenous Gas Production‚ Import of Gas from Iran‚ Import of Gas from Turkmenistan‚ Import of LNG from Qatar and Promotion of LPG air mix.
To a question‚ Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources said Pakistan has entered Gas Sales Purchase Agreement with Iran and Turkmenistan and the work for the completion of the projects is underway.
The Minister said under the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project Pakistan is just a buyer and no investment is made by it in the project.
To a question‚ the Minister said the government has signed agreements with six domestic and six foreign companies for exploration of Oil and Gas in the country during the last five years.
The minister informed that during last five years 12 companies from Pakistan and abroad have been granted licences for exploration of oil and gas. He said around 112 certified workshops are working for testing of gas cylinders.
In order to overcome gas shortage in the country and ensure un-interrupted supply to consumers, the government is vigorously pursuing gas supply from indigenous sources.
He said the government has granted 21 petroleum exploration licences in district Karak, Kohat, Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan. The Minister said at present the country is facing a huge gap between demand and supply of natural gas which is bridged through curtailment in different sectors including power, industrial, CNG, fertilizer and cement sectors.
He said the first LNG terminal would be functional from November 1 next year. He said tenders for fast Track LNG project has been issued and last date for submission of bids is October 1. He said government has also decided to set up special police station for checking gas theft.
He said during last week around 300 FIRs have been registered against gas theft. He said recently the government has promulgated the criminal law amendment act 2011 to amend the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the code of criminal procedure 1898 (CrPC) for declaring gas theft a cognizable offence which would help SSGC to launch effective anti gas theft campaign including registration of FIRs against these culprits.
He said during current season around 0.6 million domestic connections would be given and the entire backlog would be cleared within one and half year.