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News Headlines for the month of
JUNE 2017

Shale gas, oil centre established to facilitate E&P companies

JUN 20TH, 2017 ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has established a Shale gas and oil centre to facilitate interested Exploration and Production (E&P) companies in tapping the recently identified 188 TCF gas and 58 BSTB oil technically recoverable resources in lower and middle Indus Basin. "A dedicated Shale gas and oil centre has been established at the Petroleum House, which is now open for all interested E&P companies," official sources told APP. They termed the identification of massive Shale reserves a 'game- changer' and future source for abundant supply of petroleum in the country. A study, completed in collaboration with USAID, had confirmed presence of 3,778 trillion cubic feet (TCF) Shale gas and 2,323 billions of stock tank barrels (BSTB) Shale oil in place resources. The study covered lower and middle Indus Basin which geographically spread over Sindh, southern parts of Punjab and eastern parts of Balochistan. Total area under the study was 271,700 kilometers, which is 33 percent of total sedimentary area of the country. Answering a question, the sources said a consortium of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum limited (PPL) is being formed to undertake pilot project(s) to determine cost of extracting Shale gas and oil. During the study, a detailed analysis of 124 wells were carried out including laboratory analysis on Shale Cores and Cuttings in the United States. Objectives of the study were to validate Shale gas resource, estimate initial findings, assess availability of required technology and infrastructure for Shale gas operations and formulate guidelines for the Shale gas policy. The study had further confirmed that basic technology required for Shale gas exploration i.e. horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, was available in the country and being used for conventional and tight gas reservoirs.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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Foreign companies to invest in Pakistan’s LNG sector

JUN 16TH, 2017 14:45 ISLAMABAD: World major players are showing keen interest to invest in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector of Pakistan after seeing immense business potential of the commodity here. "LNG is the cheapest source of fuel and the world's major players are showing interest to invest in LNG sector of Pakistan by setting up their own terminals and developing transmission network to supply the commodity to consumers," official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told APP. They said the government wanted to involve private sector in this sector and there would be a 'good news' in next few weeks in this regard. Currently, the sources said 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) LNG was being imported, which greatly helped in meeting the country's energy requirements as all gas-based power generation plants were now functioning fully, 1200 CNG stations restarted their operations, industrial and fertilizer sectors getting uninterrupted supply. Before LNG import, they said Pakistan was importing one million ton fertilizer per year and now it was exporting six million tons fertilizer, adding entire power generation sector was getting smooth gas supply, besides Nandipur power plant had also been converted on LNG. Answering a question, they said LNG import from Qatar would not affect in the prevailing political situation in Gulf, except any force majeure situation or any international sanction with regard to LNG export from Qatar. They said Pakistan was importing 2.7 million tonnes (mt) of LNG whereas India was importing 9 mt and South Korea, Japan and China were importing 60 mt LNG from Qatar. Pakistan, the sources said, was already negotiating LNG import deals with countries including China, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia and Oman, adding "Pakistan will strike LNG deals with potential exporters."

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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Abbasi announces five more oil, gas discoveries: tally reaches 98

JUN 12TH, 2017 ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday said oil and gas exploration companies had made five new discoveries during last four months, bringing the total number of finds to 98 in last four years. "All these finds have been made in Sindh province, which will produce worth $ 150 million oil and gas annually as compared to present prices of the commodities being imported," he said while addressing a news conference here. The discoveries made by oil and gas companies, including OGDCL PPL, MPCL and OMV Pakistan, would produce 70 mmcfd gas and 636 barrels oil per day. He termed the increased number of discoveries a 'record' set by the present government in a short span of four years, which so far added 944 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas in the transmission network across the country. He said the government was making all-out efforts to further accelerate oil and gas exploration and production activities in potential areas to achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector. The minister set aside the impression that article 158 of the constitution was not being implemented in letter and spirit, saying "In 2010, before the 18th constitutional amendment, SNGPL was getting supply of 1665 mmcfd gas for distribution in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, which has reduced to 1120 mmcfd gas after the amendment." Answering a question about Sindh Chief Minister's statement regarding cut in provincial gas supply, Abbasi said he was ready to hold a public debate on the issue and reiterated that provinces were getting their due share under the 18th amendment. Replying to a question, the minister said 1.5 million new gas connections had been issued by the current government so far, and before its tenure completion, the number would reach two million. "It is the hallmark of the government that all gas connections have been issued on merit and turn," he said. When the government came into power in 2013, he said there was the backlog of two million applications for gas connections, which the company was now clearing gradually. To another question, Abbasi said currently 600 mmcfd Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was being imported, which greatly helped in meeting the country's energy requirements as all gas-based power generation plants were now functioning fully, 1200 CNG stations restarted their operations, industrial and fertilizer sectors getting uninterrupted supply. Before LNG import, the minister said Pakistan was importing one million ton fertilizer per year and now it was exporting six million tons fertilizer, adding entire power generation sector was getting smooth gas supply, besides Nandipur power plant had also been converted on LNG. He said LNG import from Qatar would not affect in the prevailing political situation in Gulf, except any 'Force Majeure' situation or any international sanction with regard to LNG export for Qatar. "It is not only Pakistan that is importing LNG from Qatar rather our neighbour and nine big economies of the world are the commodity importers." Terming LNG the cheapest source of fuel, he said world's major players were showing interest to invest in LNG sector of Pakistan by setting up their own terminals and developing transmission network to supply the commodity to consumers, adding that the government wanted to involve private sector in this sector. "There will be a good news in next few weeks in this regard," he said. When asked to comment on circular debt of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), he said the debt has reached Rs 200 billion, and there was no fear of default. Commenting on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, the minister said a few international sanctions on Iran were causing delay in execution of the project. He said as soon as the sanctions were lifted, practical work would be started on the project. Answering a question, Abbasi said in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa around Rs 7 billion gas was being stolen annually and provincial government was doing nothing for its prevention.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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13 coal based power projects at various stages of completion: PPIB

June 7, 2017 ISLAMABAD, June 7 (APP): Six power generation projects based on indigenous coal with cumulative capacity of 4290 megawatts and seven projects based on imported coal with cumulative capacity of 5201 megawatts are presently under process at various stages and will be completed in near future. According to an official of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Wednesday, the coal development is accorded strategic importance by the federal and provincial governments. The federal and provincial governments are working together to provide enabling environment and robust infrastructure that is required for Thar Coal Development, roads, water supply, waste water drainage channel and airport and transmission line. All power generation projects including those based on indigenous and imported coal are dealt by the Ministry of Water Power and PPIB. The government of Sindh has established a one stop organization and dedicated decision making body namely Thar Coal and Energy Board under the chief executive of the province with representation from federal and provincial governments to facilitate fast track development of Thar Coal. The government of Sindh has been encouraging projects of open pit mining, coal based power generation, underground coal gasification, surface gasification, coal to liquid and briquetting. Many blocks of Thar Coal field have already been allotted and offered to foreign local investors for integrated mining and power projects. Some of Thar Coal Mining and Power projects are enlisted for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The commissioning of Thar projects will usher in a new era of energy security for the country and prosperity for the people of Pakistan.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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Gas companies to provide 414,723 new connections in next FY 17-18

JUN 5TH, 2017 ISLAMABAD: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) would provide approximately 414,723 new connections during the fiscal year 2017-18. "It is expected that gas will be supplied to approximately 414,723 new consumers during the next fiscal year," official sources told APP. Answering a question, they said the gas utility companies have planned to invest Rs 12,702 million on transmission projects, Rs 43,045 million on distribution projects and Rs 8,462 million on other projects bringing the total investment of Rs 64,209 million during the next year. During July 2016 to February 2017, the sources said, the companies provided 360,465 domestic, 339 commercial and 20 industrial connections across the country. While, they spent Rs 17,925 million on transmission projects, Rs 11,183 million on distribution projects and Rs 14,925 million on other projects. The companies laid 814 kilometer gas transmission network, 4,153 kilometer distribution and 1,162 kilometer service lines and connected 104 villages and town to gas network.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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Rs37.977mn more allocated for Badin coal reserves’ appraisal

JUN 8TH, 2017 ISLAMABAD: The government will spend Rs 37.977 million more for appraisal of huge coal reserves confirmed by the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) in the year 2014 after extensive drillings started since 2012. "The government has already released Rs 131.619 million in the current fiscal year, while Rs 37.977 million more have been allocated to use during the year 2017-18 for appraisal of newly discovered coal resources in Badin and its adjoining areas of Southern Sindh," official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told APP. According to GSP, they said the coal deposits were estimated to be over one billion tones. "The coal is of good quality and high heating value." Besides, the sources informed that there were substantial deposits of gold, copper and more than 200 million tonnes of iron ore but these could not be exploited or utilized because of lack of infrastructure and technology. They said efforts were also being made for exploration of tertiary coal in Central Salt Range, Punjab aimed at meeting the growing domestic energy demand and develop coal fields and increasing power generation. The sources said exploration of oil, gas, minerals and coal resources was undertaken on regular basis which contributed significant discoveries especially in oil and gas sector. Recent geological investigations have shown that 186 billion tonnes of coal reserves exist in different parts of the country, which could be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation. "More than 184 billion tonnes deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb." Coal is primarily classified into four major categories, or 'ranks' like lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. One of the most valuable content of coal is its carbon content which supplies most of its heating value. The sources informed that further investigations were being carried out to explore and evaluate coal deposits in Musakhel, Kingri and Toisar Basin, Balochistan. Answering a question, they said the mining and quarrying sector grew by 0.6 percent in 2015-16. "Estimates suggest there are copper reserves of 1.9 billion tons and 11.2 million ounces of gold in different localities." They admitted that the primary reason for not getting maximum benefit of the natural resources was the application of out-dated technologies, poor management and inadequate capital besides security situation in some areas where the bulk of the mineral resources were located. The mineral sector of Pakistan is spread over 600,000 square kilometers and 92 known minerals, while 52 are commercially exploited. Presently, the sources said above 5,000 operational mines and 50,000 small and medium enterprises were producing average 68.52 million tons per year and providing direct employment to 300,000 workers.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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SNGPL, SSGCL LAID 6,129 KM TRANSMISSION NETWORK IN CURRENT YEAR

JUN 2ND, 2017 ISLAMABAD: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), under the transmission expansion programme, have laid around 6,129 kilometer transmission network in their operational areas during the current fiscal year. "The companies laid 814 kilometer gas transmission network, 4,153 kilometer distribution and 1,162 kilometer service lines and connected 104 villages and town to gas network," official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told APP. They said the gas companies have provided 360,465 domestic, 339 commercial and 20 industrial connections across the country during the ongoing fiscal year. Besides, the companies invested Rs 17,925 million on transmission projects, Rs 11,183 million on distribution projects and Rs 14,925 million on other projects bringing total investment to about Rs 44,033 million. Answering a question, the sources said Pakistan has an extensive gas network of over 12,202 km transmission 119,736 km distribution and 32,823 services gas pipelines to cater the requirement of more than 8.4 million consumers across the country by supplying about four billion cubic feet per day natural gas.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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Call to check import of sub-standard LPG

JUN 3RD, 2017 16:40 LAHORE: LPG Association of Pakistan (LPGAP) has demanded the authorities concerned to take steps for controlling influx of sub-standard imported LPG. Imported LPG is damaging the local LPG industry, said Chairman LPG Association of Pakistan Farooq Iftikhar in a statement here on Saturday. He said that locally produced LPG can cater to the domestic needs but its high prices were coming in the way and encouraging import as well as smuggling of LPG from other countries. He said, "High prices of LPG producers have allowed smugglers and importers of sub-standard gas which need to be checked". He said the consumption of LPG during summer falls not only in Pakistan but also at international level. Reduction in demand bring down price but this season the situation in Pakistan is contrary to it, he added. Farooq Iftikhar emphasized the urgency in bringing down price to discourage sub-standard imports and enable LPG Marketing & Storage companies to perform their responsibilities in a best manner.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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