Islamabad    -      To further enhance the LNG import the government is likely to award the contract for 200 mmcfd LNG next week. The government has planned to sign deal for the import of additional 400 mmcfd LNG by the end of this year, official sources said.

The source said that to meet the gas demand the government is working on two pronged strategies which include the import of additional LNG and development of local gas reserves, said the source.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier this year a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in chair gave green signal for the import of additional LNG. Following the decision in first phase it was decided to add 200 mmcfd additional LNG in the system and had floated a tender in this regard. The bid for the import of additional LNG would be opened next week, said the source.

At present, two LNG terminals are handling over 1100 mmcfd LNG. Out of it, power sector is using 790 mmcfd and fertilizer industry 180 mmcfd LNG.

second LNG terminal has 790 mmcfd LNG handling capacity and government has dedicated capacity of 600 mmcfd.

At present, PSO is importing 500 mmcfd LNG from Qatar and 100 mmcfd from Qatar. However, PLL has short and long term contracts of 200 mmcfd LNG imports whereas remaining 400 mmcfd LNG is being secured through spot purchases.

The source said that government would look into future scenarios of gas prices as Australia and United States (US) would emerge as potential LNG suppliers in coming years that would cause hitting the global prices.

Beside the LNG import, the source said that the government was also focusing on exploration of indigenous oil and gas reserves. The PTI government soon after coming to power had auctioned 10 exploration blocks but did not receive encouraging response. Now, the government wants to auction more oil and gas blocks.

However, before offering these blocks, the government wants to conduct road shows in different countries to attract foreign investors.

The source however said that prior moving towards road shows, the government wants to amend Petroleum Policy to offer incentives for exploration blocks in high risk areas.

The source said that government had also formed a model petroleum concession agreement (PCA) which will reduce the current 34 initiatives for exploration companies to follow. The modal PCA and amended petroleum policy will help to kick off exploration activities in the country, the source said.