Pakistan secures LNG cargoes from Qatar to meet winter demand

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The government has secured cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar to meet energy demands for consumers, as costs surge

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar announced the development Thursday, saying that the government has secured LNG cargoes under a long-term deal. 

“Some of the import shipments are from the new Qatar agreement at 10.2% of Brent,” said the minister.

However, the minister did not confirm how many cargoes the government has secured for the November-January period. 

Pakistan earlier last week did not receive a single quotation in a bidding process for spot purchase seeking eight LNG cargoes for delivery over December to January period, raising concerns about a potential energy crisis amid peak demand.

The minister was upbeat about meeting the seasonal peak demand through a combination of measures being taken.

Consumers are bracing themselves for a severe LNG crisis during the winter season. For one, sourcing LNG has become a problem for countries. Another problem is that the price of gas has surged a great deal over the past couple of months. 

“There is a dire need to aggressively source natural gas from wherever it is deemed feasible,” said an industry official. The reliance on regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) has been on the rise with depleting domestic reserves of natural gas. Thermal power generation with RLNG proved to be a relatively new addition, helping produce clean energy at competitive rates.

Significant growth of RLNG usage in the energy mix has helped in improving supply to various power plants. RLNG is also supplied to fertilizer plants, industrial and transport sectors. It is learnt that the government is trying to explore all options to meet the peak winter demand for natural gas.

A natural gas crisis would be catastrophic in the harsh winter in the absence of spot purchases, which are hard to find these days amid the commodity’s rare demand across the world.

The present government is employing a proactive and innovative approach to sustain LNG supplies while extending outreach on a war-footing basis through trade diplomacy and consultation with stakeholders.

In the global market, the spot LNG prices are already trading at record levels amid high demand from almost all major importing nations in Europe and Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, China and India.

 Subsequently, there has been a five-fold increase in the price of spot LNG cargo since early 2021 as the gap between demand and supply widens.

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