ISLAMABAD (APP) – The govt is taking solid steps to timely complete the hydrocarbon projects in order to fulfill the country's energy requirements.

"The government is implementing a multi-pronged strategy which includes several measures including the timely completion of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline projects to meet the growing energy deficit, and in particular shortages in gas supplies which constitute nearly 50 percent of the energy mix of the country," an official of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources said. Giving details, the official said in a recent meeting the

Economic Coordination Committee's (ECC) Steering Committee on Iran-Pakistan (IP) Pipeline and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline projects, reaffirmed its commitment to go ahead with major gas projects.

EEC's Steering Committee has already cleared the appointment of the financial consultant for Iran Pakistan gas pipeline project. The appointment of the financial advisor would be approved by the ECC. Other proposals to be approved by the ECC include govt backed guarantees, model of financial consultancy and gas pricing formula for both projects including the IP and TAPI.

The official added both IP and TAPI projects were of prime importance for Pakistan and essential for meeting energy demands of the country. Quoting Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain as having urged that the precious natural resources like oil and gas must be conserved to achieve sustainable development.

He said all the stakeholders had been called upon to cooperate in implementing gas load management program.

Elaborating the strategy to overcome the energy requirements, the official said it included increasing domestic oil and gas exploration and production, fast tracking utilization of hydro power potential, expediting the development of vast local coal reserves, setting-up new nuclear power plants, importing piped natural gas from neighboring countries, importing LNG, importing electricity from neighboring countries and exploiting affordable alternate energy resources.

The country's primary energy supplies reached to 63.04 MMTOE in FY2010 and with higher economic growth fuelling energy needs, the supply-demand gap is fast widening.

Moreover, with about a third of country's energy needs being met through imports, mainly oil, the volatility in international energy prices is creating challenges.

Recognizing that availability and affordability of energy is essential for sustainable economic development, the government has devised a long-term energy security plan for meeting the country's energy needs and the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project is a key element of this plan.