Two bcf of LNG to be imported to meet energy shortages: Shahid Khaqan

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi here on Thursday said Pakistan will import two billion cubic feet of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to meet energy shortages.

The Minister said the government wants to import first flow of LNG by November 1, 2014.

The Minister was speaking at ceremony of MoU signing between Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), NED University of Engineering and Technology (NED) and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) for industry-academia collaboration.

The Minister said the import of LNG would resolve 50 percent of the energy problems being faced by the country.

He said investment of $100 million will be made by foreign companies for the first ultra deep offshore well project which will start from next year.

The Minister said work on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project and TAPI pipeline project will continue.

Meanwhile, the memorandum of understanding extends PPL’s role in facilitating industry-academia linkages in the field of petroleum engineering besides training professionals and enhancing research and development projects.

The initial duration of the MoU is five years but may be extended further.

MD and CEO PPL Asim Murtaza Khan, Vice Chancellor, NED Professor Muhammad Afzal Haque and Head Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics, NTNU Prof Egil Tjaland signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions.

The highlight of the ceremony was to mark the establishment of the Norwegian Centre of Excellence for Petroleum Studies at NED in collaboration with NTNU under the Pak3004, Pak-Norway Institutional Cooperation Programme.

The Minister underscored the need for academic and technical competence to service the exploration and production industry and step up exploration activities to meet the country’s rising energy demand.

He also reiterated the government’s support for such initiatives.

Speaking about the project, Head Petroleum Engineering Department NED Professor Abid Murtaza Khan, highlighted significance of the collaborative effort.

MD PPL Asim Mustafa Khan gave an overview of the exploration and research industry as well as initiatives taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to draw local and foreign investment.

He also stated that the tripartite MOU, the first ever instance of international collaboration between Pakistan’s exploration industry and academia, will go a long way in training qualified professionals and applying innovative technology in line with industry imperatives, especially as technology takes centre stage.