ISLAMABAD - Minister for petroleum & natural resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday revealed that Pakistan Muslim League government was contemplating to review existing provincial gas allocation formula and provinces would also be taken on board to secure their endorsement.

He said this during an interaction with media persons at petroleum ministry. He disclosed that government is mulling to review provincial gas allocation formula and had further held discussions with provinces over the matter during meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI). And, a consensus in this regard would be ensured during further talks with the provinces.

He also informed that the government has dropped LNG import programme from India due to some differences on prices of commodity from both sides while the government so far could not strike a deal with Qatar regarding import of LNG on government-to-government basis. However, a tender for the construction of a 200mmcfd LNG terminal will be issued during next week besides a tender is also expected to be issued soon for the purchase of commodity. And, import of LNG to the country is expected to start by October 2014, he added.

“The government would bring Qatari LNG on suitable price but if it finds import of LNG costly than the plan to bring Qatari LNG to Pakistan will also be dropped”, petroleum minister said, adding,” Qatar and America had inked three agreements for the sale of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at a price ranging between $2/mmbtu to $17/mmbtu and Japan had recently signed an agreement at a price of $17/mmbtu”.

While briefing the media about PML-N government’s plan of brining LNG to the country to meet burgeoning needs, Shahid was found confident and much optimist by saying, “ Handling of LNG is to start after only a year in Pakistan after the award of contract. Similarly, another tender of SSGCL for the construction of 500mmcfd LNG terminal will also be issued in near future.”

Shahid Khaqan has also made it very clear that construction of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline would be made possible according to the agreement. Following the imposition of US sanctions on Iran, Pakistan’s foreign office is deeply deliberating on the IP agreement, he added.

During media interaction petroleum minister defending the colossal power tariff hike and said,” One big intention behind jacking up the per unit power price is to realise and highlight miseries of power theft.”