Privatization and new discoveries to increase energy self-sufficiency

The new National Energy Security Plan aims to transform Pakistan into a vital enegy transit route in Central Asia and the Arabian Sea. The government is undertaking feasibility studies for the building of three regional pipelines for gas imports.

Seeking to reduce dependence on imported oil and to prepare to meet future energy demands as Pakistan continues to register astounding year-on-year growth, reaching 8.3% in the last months. President Musharraf’s government is undertaking an overhaul of the country’s oil and gas sectors. The government is privatizing national assets and promoting new exploration and development. More than 50 agreements for new onshore and offshore blocks have been signed in the past year, according to Federal Minister for Petroleum
and Natural Resources, Amanullah Khan Jadoon. He says that the government is spending a great deal of effort on both domestic and international fronts to secure Pakistan’s energy future. “Energy is the basis for development, so it is very important to achieve self-sufficiency. If you have a shortfall, you strangle your growth,” he remarks. Mr. Jadoon, who recently hosted a conference in the UK to highlight new opportunities in the sector, says that a number of initiatives have been put in place to attract new investment.

Amanullah Khan Jadoon
Ahmad Waqar
Amanullah Khan Jadoon
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
Ahmad Waqar
Secretary for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources

Pakistan currently imports over 80% of its oil, which repres-ents 30% of the country’s total energy supply.

Natural gas, which currently makes up 50% of total energy supply, is abundant in the country, and an increasing focus for the future. New gas discoveries have increased the country’s reserves by 60% over the past two years, from 2.2 billion to 3.5 billion cubic feet per day, saving the government some $700 million in furnace oil imports, according to Ahmad Waqar, Secretary for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. Mr. Waqar says the government is now running feasibility studies on three different regional pipelines for future gas imports as part of its new 15-year National Energy Security Plan. The plan will transform Pakistan into a vital regional energy transit route taking advantage of the country’s ideal location at the crossroads of Central Asia and the Arabian Sea. It also envisions investments of $600 million in new liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification facilities in Karachi and LNG port facilities at either Gwadar or Karachi.