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Ending IMF Bailouts and Electricity Blackouts in Energy-Rich Pakistan

Frequent IMF bailouts and power blackouts in energy-rich Pakistan are closely tied. One of the key reasons for recurring balance-of-payment crises is the country's rapidly rising oil import bill. The lack of sufficient fuel exacerbates load shedding, negatively impacts economy, reduces tax revenue growth and worsens current account and budget deficits. This requires repeated injections of IMF loans in US dollars to meet import requirements and deal with budget shortfalls.

Pakistan Energy Infrastructure (Source: PPEPCA)


Pakistan's Untapped Energy Riches:

1. Shale Oil:

A recent US EIA report released in June 2013 estimates Pakistan's total shal...  reserves at 227 billion barrels of which 9.1 billion barrels are technically recoverable with today's technology. In fact, US EIA (Energy Information Administration) puts Pakistan among the top ten countries by recoverable shale oil reserves. These include Russia (75 billion barrels), United States (58 billion barrels), China (32 billion barrels), Argentina (27 billion barrels), Libya (26 billion barrels), Venezuela (13 billion barrels), Mexico (13 billion barrels), Pakistan (9.1 billion barrels), Canada (8.8 billion barrels) and Indonesia (7.9 billion barrels).

2. Shale Gas:

The latest US EIA report has raised estimates of Pakistan's recoverable shale gas reserves from 51 trillion cubic feet to 105 trillion cubic feet. It says Pakistan has 586 trillion cubic feet of shale gas of which 105 trillion cubic feet (up from 51 trillion cubic feet reported in 2011) is technically recoverable with current technology.



3. Tight Gas:

Rough estimates indicate the presence of at least 33 trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas reserves trapped in tight sands, according to an ENI Pakistan report. Another report by Shahab Alam, technical director of Pakistan Petroleum Concessions, puts the estimate at 40 trillion cubic feet of tight gas reserves in the country. These unconventional gas reserves are in addition to the remaining conventional proven gas reserves of over 30 trillion cubic feet.

4. Conventional Gas:

In addition to unconventional oil and gas resources, Pakistan also has about 30 trillion cubic feet of remaining conventional natural gas.

5. Thar Coal:

Pakistan's coal reserves in the Thar desert are estimated at 175 billion tons, according to  Geological Survey of Pakistan. It's low BTU content coal.  The carbon content of Thar lignite is around 60-80%; the rest is composed of water, air, hydrogen, and sulfur. It's hard to transport it but it can used to generate electricity in an integrated mining-generation facility.

6. Hydro:

Pakistan's hydroelectric potential is over 100,000 MW of electricity of which 59,000 MW can come from currently identified sites by the nation's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

7. Wind:

According to data published by Miriam Katz of Environmental Peace Review, Pakistan is fortunate to have something many other countries do not, which are high wind speeds near major centers. Near Islamabad, the wind speed is anywhere from 6.2 to 7.4 meters per second (between 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Near Karachi, the range is between 6.2 and 6.9 (between 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour). In only the Balochistan and Sindh provinces, sufficient wind exists to power every coastal village in the country. There also exists a corridor between Gharo and Keti Bandar that alone could produce between 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of electricity, says Ms. Katz who has studied and written about alternative energy potential in South Asia.

8. Solar:

Pakistan is an exceptionally sunny country. If 0.25% of Balochistan was covered with solar panels with an efficiency of 20%, enough electricity would be generated to cover all of Pakistani demand. Solar energy makes much sense for Pakistan for several reasons: firstly, very large population lives in 50,000 villages that are very far away from the national grid, according to a report by the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC). Connecting these villages to the national grid would be very costly, thus giving each house a solar panel would be cost efficient and would empower people both economically and socially.

Summary:

Pakistan's frequent bailouts and blackouts are clearly related. The key to solving these interlinked crises is to put high priority on developing the country's vast but untapped domestic energy resources identified above. These include shale oil, shale gas, tight gas, Thar coal, hydro and renewables like solar and wind. Reducing Pakistan's dependence on energy imports is also the key to making the nation less vulnerable to recurring external shocks from energy prices which vary wildly with international political and economic events and crises.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

US EIA Estimates Pakistan's Shale Oil Reserves at 9.1 Billion Barrels

Pakistan's Vast Shale Gas Reserves

Pakistan's Energy History

Cheap Coal Electricity

Potential Renewable Energy Resources in Pakistan

Hydroelectricity Potential in Pakistan

US EIA Shale Oil and Gas Report 2013


Views: 282

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 12, 2013 at 5:13pm

Here are a couple of news items on Pakistani imports in 2012-13:

Dawn:

Statistics showed the oil import bill reached $13.937 billion in July-May this year as against $10.467 billion over the last year, indicating an increase of 33.15 per cent.

http://beta.dawn.com/news/728216/import-bill-increases

Daily Times:

The country has suffered $20.432 billion trade deficit during last fiscal year 2012-13, according to the official figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

July to June: The exports from Pakistan during last 12 months of the last fiscal year 2012-13 were recorded at $24.518 billion as compared with exports of $23.624 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year 2011-12, projecting an increase of 3.76 percent.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C07%5C13%5Cstor...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 17, 2013 at 7:49am

Here's a Dawn story on US help for Pakistan's energy sector:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and United States on Tuesday agreed to enhance cooperation in energy sector with special focus on development of bio-gas and wind energy to help Pakistan overcome power crisis.

Pakistan needs investment, particularly in the most needed energy sector, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while addressing a joint press conference along with President Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Elizabeth L. Littlefield, who was heading the US delegation in talks with Pakistan.

Earlier, US delegation held detailed discussions with Pakistan’s economic and energy managers led by the finance minister and discussed various issues related to investment in various sectors of economy, particularly in energy sector.

Dar told media representatives that talks with the Opic were the part of government's efforts to bring foreign investment into the country and help enhance economic growth.

He said that both the countries agreed in principle to continue dialogue on Civil Nuclear Technology cooperation. However, he added that no timeline could be given for any future agreement on the issue.

The finance minister said that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have capability to generate more electricity and the government has paid circular debt to enhance generation capacity.

He said both the sides also agreed to continue dialogue on the pending issues of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to tap the investment potential.

Terming the terrorism as one of the challenges the country was facing, Ishaq Dar said the government was committed to come up with a comprehensive strategy by taking onboard all political parties to overcome this menace.

He said that ensuring transparency and good governance were among the top priorities of the government.

Earlier, the minister informed the US delegation about the successful passage of federal budget 2013-14.

He said the government, this year, has enhanced the allocations for Public Sector Development Programme to Rs1.155 trillion besides enhancing the allocations of Income Support Programme from Rs40 billion to Rs70 billion.

Dar urged the Opic to bring into investment of private companies in Pakistan's energy sector. He assured the US delegation that Pakistan was a safe as well as lucrative country for investment and provides a conducive atmosphere for foreign investors.

Addressing the press conference, Elizabeth Littlefield said the investment through Opic into Pakistan has increased from $80 million to $300 million, witnessing manifold increase during past couple of years.

She said that Pakistan was facing some challenges. She, however, expressed the optimism that the new government would overcome all these challenges and lead the country towards better future.

Littlefield said her country will enhance cooperation with Pakistan in power generation through wind and bio-gas, besides enhancing technical cooperation to increase power generation through alternative ways.

She said that the US companies have already been involved in development of energy sector of Pakistan as a 50 megawatt electricity project by an American firm was continuing in Sindh province.

Earlier, while briefing the finance minister and his delegation about the operations of the Opic, she said the corporation mobilises private capital to help solve critical development challenges.

The Opic works with the US private sector and helps businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalysing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad.

The corporation achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, she added.

http://dawn.com/news/1029436/pakistan-us-to-enhance-cooperation-in-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 17, 2013 at 10:56am

Here's a PakistanToday report on expected addition of nuclear power plants by 2016:

Completion of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plants CHASNUPP-III and CHASNUPP-IV by 2016, 340 megawatts (MW) respectively, will help meet the target of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) for generating 8,800 MW by the year 2030 via nuclear power reactors. The plants reactors and other facilities are being built and operated by the PAEC with Chinese support. In November 2006, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved an agreement with the PAEC for new nuclear power plants to be built in the country with Chinese assistance. The 35-member board of governors of the IAEA unanimously approved the safeguards agreement for any future nuclear power plants that Pakistan would construct. According to official sources, the allocation of budget for the PAEC for the financial year 2013-14.is estimated at around Rs49,512.186 million "An amount of Rs34.6 billion has been set aside for Chashma nuclear power plants C3 and C4. The total cost of these two projects is Rs190 billion which will be partially funded by a Rs136 billion Chinese loan,” an official said. The government has so far spent 62.4 billion on the mega-project having a 660 MW generation capacity. With an additional spending of 34.6 billion, the government has already completed almost half of the work, the official said. The 300 MW Chashma nuclear power plant-I is a pressurized water reactor that began commercial operation in 2000.It is located at Kundian in Punjab while the 300 MW Chashma Nuclear PowerPlant-II is part of the Chashma Nuclear Power Complex in the north-western region of Thal Doab. On April 28, 2009 a general engineering and design contract for CHASNUPP-3 and CHASNUPP-4 was signed with Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI)...

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/07/17/news/profit/680mw-nuclea...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 18, 2013 at 11:22am

Here's a Polish report indicating the price of first tight gas produced in Pakistan is set $6 per mmBTU:

PGNiG and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) on Tuesday singed Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA), adding 30 Million Cubic Feet (MMCFD) of ''tight gas'' from Kirthar block in Sindh in SSGC''s system. After the signing ceremony, Dr Asim Hussain, the Prime Minister''s adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources, told reporters that this is the first-ever ''tight gas'' GSPA in Pakistan.

The agreement was signed by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNIG). The agreement signing ceremony was witnessed by Dr Asim Hussain, Dr Waqar Masood, the Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and other officials. The Kirthar block is jointly owned by the Polish firm and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and production from the field would start in May next year. Officials said that the price of ''tight gas'' would be $6 per mmbtu, which would be much higher than the current gas price. Hussain said that ''tight gas'' production would start in May 2013 and SSGC would lay a 52-kilometre-long pipeline at an estimated cost of Rs 325 million, carrying gas from the Suleman Range to the Nooriabad industrial estate.

He said that production from two wells that would produce 15 million cubic feet gas per day (mmcfd) each. He said that the Polish firm and PPL would further provide gas to the Sui Southern Gas Company limited and supply it to industries in the Nooriabad industrial estate in Sindh.

Hussain said that polish firm had invested $40 million to explore tight gas from Kirthar block in Dadu district while $20 million would be further invested. "The Polish firm has explored ''tight gas'' from two wells. It will also dig other wells to explore more gas," Hussain said

He rejected reports that Pakistan was facing any external pressure against the Iran-Pakistan gas project, adding that the nation would soon hear "good news" about this project. Hussain reiterated that the agreement was a significant step in the implementation of Pakistan''s Tight Gas Policy announced in 2011 for providing economically viable sources of energy. He stressed that the government had introduced incentives and investor-friendly policies for boosting investment in the Oil and Gas sector for substantially bridging the demand and supply gap of natural gas. Waldemar Woiciech Bak, Managing Director of PGNiG Pakistan thanked MD PPL for the support PPL has extended as a joint venture partner throughout this period to bring the project to its current status.

MD PPL Asim Murtaza Khan hoped that the timely completion of Rehman project will increase the gas supply significantly. He assured POL''s full support in this endeavour. MD SSGCL Zuhair Siddiqui appreciated JV partners for leading the industry in unconventional gas production and hoped that they will be bringing in more gas to the system in near future. An agreement between the Polish firm and SSGCL for laying the 52-kilometre-long pipeline from PGNIG''s Rehman Field to Naing Value Assembly of SSGCL in Dadu, was also signed on the occasion. SSGCL was awarded the contract for laying the pipeline. The project is likely to be completed by April next year.

http://islamabad.mfa.gov.pl/en/news/success_of_pgnig_

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 29, 2013 at 10:48am

Here's a report on rising remittances to Pakistan from overseas Pakistanis:

ISLAMABAD, July 14 (KUNA) -- An increase of USD 733.64 million in the remittance of overseas Pakistani was observed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the last fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013).
Overseas Pakistanis remitted an amount of USD13,920.26 million during the last fiscal year showing a growth of 5.56 per cent or USD733.64 million compared with USD13,186.62 million received during the same period of the last fiscal year (July- June 2012), State Bank of Pakistan said.
The inflow of remittances during July-June 2013 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to USD4,104.73 million, USD2,750.17 million, USD2,186.21 million, USD1,946.01 million, USD1,607.88 million and USD357.37 million respectively. These amounts could be compared to the inflow of USD3,687.00 million, USD2,848.86 million, USD2,334.47 million, USD1,521.10 million, USD1, 495.00 million and USD364.79 million respectively in July-June 2012.
According to State Bank, remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the last fiscal year (July-June 2013) amounted to USD967.79 million as against USD935.36 million received in the last fiscal year (July- June 2012). The monthly average remittances for July-June 2013 period comes out to USD1,160.02 million compared to USD1,098.89 million during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, said the SBP.

http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2322337&language=en

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 13, 2015 at 8:10pm

Pakistan's remittances of $18.4 billion nearly made up for the trade deficit of $19.8 billion over 11 months ending in May 2015: 

Pakistan's trade deficit widened by 11.73 percent to $19.735 billion for the July 2014 to May 2015 period, compared with a deficit of $17.663 billion for the same period last year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Exports declined to $21.875 billion in the eleven month period from $23.092 billion the previous year. Imports rose to $41.610 billion from $40.755 billion.

The Pakistan financial year begins in July.

On a monthly basis, the trade deficit rose to $1.894 billion in May from $1.795 billion the previous month.

Exports totalled $1.953 billion in May and imports were worth $3.847 billion. 

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/16/pakistan-trade-idINL4N0XH4...

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 21, 2016 at 8:58am

Tapping #Pakistan’s wealth of #oil and #gas. #energy #LNG #pipelines #CPEC @GlobalCapNews http://www.globalcapital.com/article/b100v25p7rkjmc/tapping-pakista...

Energy has long been Pakistan’s curse. This is a country whose large and rising population (the
country had 195 million people as of October 2016, according to government data, making it the
world’s sixth most populous country) has long presented its government with a complex challenge:
to tap new sources of hugely valuable energy where little, if any, had historically existed.
There is carbon here in spades. Pakistan boasts 754 billion cubic metres’ worth of gas, placing it
28th in the list of the world’s largest sovereign producers of natural gas. It has rather less oil, at
least in comparison to other countries in the region, placing it 52th on the global list.
Coal, though, is another matter. A recent find in the desert district of Tharparkar, hard by the border
with the Indian province of Rajasthan, may ultimately generate up to 185 billion tonnes of
anthracite and lignite coal. If that find yields anything near its earliest estimates, it would vault
Pakistan overnight from a ‘resource­poor’ nation into the energy­producing major leagues.

Coal would help diversify the
country’s energy mix. Pakistan is
heavily reliant on natural gas and
oil to meet its primary energy
requirements. The country’s gas
deficit currently runs at between 2
billion and 4 billion cubic feet per
day, depending on the season and
the time of day. Total local crude oil
production, meanwhile, has long
lagged: Pakistan currently has to
import around 87% of its oil needs,
mostly from the United Arab
Emirates and Saudi Arabia

------

In September 2016, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, told
Pakistan’s National Assembly that the oil and gas sector had received investments totaling
$15.3bn since the start of 2013, adding that the country had made 82 oil and gas discoveries over
the same period.
Analysts are impressed by what they are seeing. “Lucrative policies on gas pricing, stability
resulting from improving law and order, and vast arrays of unexplored territory, have created
attractive propositions for exploration and production companies, who are well positioned to deploy
the excess cash on their books,” notes Farrukh Sabzwaria, director of regional equities sales at
Credit Suisse in Singapore. “Oil & gas exploration has made up 30%­40% of foreign direct
investment over the past few years — and four multinationals are firmly entrenched, and should
continue to bring in FDI for exploration and development activities.” In other words, Pakistan, once
a minnow in the fields of energy production and exploration, is well on its way to becoming a major
player in the field, thanks to far­sighted government policy

--------

In September 2016, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that three south­north pipelines, stretching
from Gwadar to western China, were under construction, with the first set for completion by the
end of 2016. “The second,” the finance minister added, “would be a parallel north­south pipeline
built [with] Russian investment, while the third pipeline is planned between the towns of Gwadar
and Nawabshah” in the easterly province of Sindh.

--------
Then there are the country’s untapped reserves of carbon. In November 2015, petroleum ministry
advisor Zahid Muzaffar said Pakistan’s total oil and gas reserves, including unexplored offshore
wells and fields, were greater than all Central Asian states combined. If true — and given that
Central Asia includes one major gas producer, in Turkmenistan, and one major oil produce, in
Kazakhstan — it would place Pakistan’s energy sector and the wider economy in a highly
promising position.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 1, 2018 at 11:13am

Economist Magazine: "Just 1% of the vast #Thar #coal reserve discovered in 1992 could supply a fifth of #Pakistan's current #electricity generation for half a century" #CPEC #energy #infrastructure

https://www.economist.com/news/business/21736185-just-1-vast-reserv...

PAKISTAN’s enormous mineral wealth has long lain untapped. Since a 1992 geological survey spotted one of the world’s largest coal reserves in Thar, a scrubby desert in the southern province of Sindh, prospectors have hardly dug up a lump. Among those to flounder is a national hero. Samar Mubarakmand, feted for his role in Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons programme, has just shut the coal-gasification company he founded in 2010, when he vowed on live television to crack Thar.

---

To such qualms, the government offers three rejoinders. First, severe power shortages have long blighted the nation, and renewable sources cannot offer the daylong, year-round power it needs. Second, coal accounts for less than 1% of current generation, compared with 70% in neighbouring India and China. And third, domestic coal would allow the country to forgo expensive imports of the fuel for newly built power stations, a drain on fast-dwindling foreign-exchange reserves.

---

Eight years ago Engro bought the rights to one of Thar’s 13 blocks, containing 1% of the reserve (more than enough given the gargantuan size of the mine). To work on extraction, it formed the country’s biggest ever public-private partnership, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), in which Engro digs and the state provides infrastructure. Relying on the state can break strong firms. Engro itself almost went bankrupt in 2012 after the government refused to honour a sovereign guarantee to provide gas to one of its fertiliser plants. Yet without similar government support, no other Thar block-owners have secured financing, leaving Engro’s diggers, which began work last year, to move ahead.

The endeavour benefits from being in the group of infrastructure projects that make up the $62bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a hoped-for trade route. Western banks shook their heads when approached about a coal project, so Engro has relied on Chinese financing. Analysts note an irony in China’s promotion of coal abroad as it withdraws from the fuel at home. Handling the extraction at Thar is the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, a state-owned firm with expertise beyond Pakistan’s reach.

Around 126 metres below the sands of Thar, with just 20 more to go, Engro’s diggers can now almost touch their prize. When the coal is reached, as is expected in mid-2018, it will feed a pit-mouth power station constructed by Engro, and, in time, three others owned by partners in the SECMC. These stations will furnish around a fifth of the country’s electricity for the next 50 years. The financial rewards could be vast. “All my richest friends are jumping up and down [because they did not get there first]”, says the boss of one big multinational construction business.

Hurdles remain, not least complaints from nearby villagers about the disposal of the vast quantities of wastewater from the mine on their ancestral grazing lands in the form of a reservoir. In reply, Engro stresses its social work in the surrounding district of Tharparkar, the poorest in Sindh, which includes the construction of several free schools. More self-interestedly, it is training locals to drive so they can man the dump trucks that trundle day and night around the mine. According to Shamsuddin Shaikh, chief executive of Engro Powergen, the conglomerate’s energy division, Engro also has its sights on Reko Diq, a gargantuan and long-stalled copper mine in Balochistan, the least developed of Pakistan’s provinces. To tap one of the country’s two largest and most niggardly mines is hard enough. Imagine cracking them both.


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