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Pakistan joined the list of LNG importers last year and promptly became one of the world's fastest growing LNG markets, according to Shell 2017 LNG report. The South Asian nation has suffered a crippling energy shortage as demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day, far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day. Recent LNG imports are beginning to make a dent in Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis and helping to boost economic growth. Current global oversupply and low LNG prices are helping customers get better terms on contracts.
Global LNG Market:
Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan together imported 13.9 million tons of LNG, more than the combined increase of 11.9 million tons by the most populous nations of China and India.
The biggest increase in LNG exports in 2016 came from Australia, where exports increased by 15 MT to a total of 44.3 MT. It was also a significant year for the USA, after 2.9 MT of LNG was delivered from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Qatar remained the world’s largest LNG exporting country, accounting for around 30% of global trade of 258 MT by exporting 77.2 MT, according to International Gas Union report 2017.
LNG Demand in Pakistan:
Pakistan has been a big consumer of natural gas since the discovery of Sui gas fields in Balochistan in 1952. Sui now accounts for just 6% of natural gas domestically produced in Pakistan. The rest of the 94% comes from gas fields in other parts of Pakistan. Among the various provinces, Sindh is now the biggest producer of natural gas. Demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day, far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day.
Pakistan is currently importing 2 million MT (96 billion cubic feet) of LNG and negotiating to secure an additional 3 million MT in long-term contracts by the end of 2017 to supply its new LNG floating terminal due to arrive by December, according to M. Adnan Gilani, chief operating officer with Pakistan LNG Ltd, as reported by Platts.
New supply agreements will increase Pakistan's total LNG contracts total to more than 11 million MT per year, as the country aims to resolve a decade-long energy crisis, driven by growing gas consumption and falling domestic production.
In addition to government-to-government contracts, there are also private and public companies negotiating deals to import LNG. For example, Karachi-based power generator K-Electric is seeking supply for its 900-megawatt, $1-billion Port Qasim Power Station which will start-up in two phases, in mid-2018 and the end of 2019, according to Reuters news agency.
In the longer term, Pakistan aims to allocate a quarter of its LNG purchases to the spot and short-term markets, Pakistan LNG Ltd's Adnan Gilani told Platts. "Initially, our goal is to solve our energy crisis. We have long-term downstream commitments, so we do not mind going to mid-to-long term initially," he said. "Over the course of time, we will be able to cater to our variable non-cyclical demand... and allocate about a quarter of our portfolio to spot and short term. PLL is currently purchasing four cargoes per month on a short-term basis as it awaits the start of new term volumes.
By 2022, Pakistan expects to import 30 million MT (1,440 billion cubic feet) of LNG, according to Adnan Gilani of PLL.
There is one LNG terminal currently operational at Port Qasim and 5 more are planned in Pakistan over the next two years to deal with rising volume of LNG imports. New pipelines are planned by South Sui Gas and Northern Sui Gas companies to transmit regasified LNG to various parts of the country to meet demand.
Pakistan is among the fastest growing LNG markets, according to Shell 2017 LNG report. The country has suffered a crippling energy shortage in recent years as demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day, far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day. Recent LNG imports are beginning to make a dent in Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis and helping to boost economic growth. Current global oversupply and low LNG prices are helping customers get better terms on contracts.