Experts raise eye-brow on LNG deals by govt

Sameer Nazir
The experts on energy sector were of the opinion that though Pakistan is facing serious challenges of oil and gas shortages and due to which its industrial and economic growth has been stalled. Speaking at the 11th International Energy Conference on the occasion of 13th Oil and Gas and Energy Exhibition 2015 held at Karachi Expo Centre, the speakers were of the view that tremendous unconventional reservoirs in Pakistan are required to be evaluated by collection of more data by specialized logs carrying out 3D Basin Modeling to identify sweet spots and initiating pilot projects in shale gas as early as possible. Chairman Department of Petroleum Engineering, NED University said that Pakistan can target existing source rock for shale gas, Core from shale formations can be calculated from re-entry into old wells, Pakistan need to perform more risk evaluation by analyzing the existing/future data for proper resource assessment. The rich CBM deposits and tight gas deposit should also be considered for development. The issue of import of LNG (liquiefied Natural Gas) and its price being kept secret by the present government has also been echoed during the conference as speakers were quite suspicious of the entire deal being made by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources. Senior Energy Analyst of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Maha Kamal said that transparency and honesty is e4ssential when making any deal while the LNG deal by the ministry is still unclear and its details are being kept secret despite the fact that even Transparency International has raised the question on such deal. She said that apparently the LNG deal appears to be the most expensive deal if it comes to near $14 mmbtu and in such case would be a big uproar as it becomes dearer than furnace oil. Senator, Rukhsana Zuberi was also of the opinion that keeping the LNG deal secret is breach of public’s trust.
Former Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Gulfraz Ahmed said that there is a vast gap between supply and demand as currently the production from conventional gas reservoirs is declining rapidly in Pakistan whereas the demand for continuous supply of gas continues to increase. It has become essential to explore all unconventional energy resources along with conventional resources to meet the country’s energy requirement. Pakistan is currently suffering an energy shortfall of 2.3 bcf and the energy demand is expected to increase further until 2022. He said that total conventional gas reserves in Pakistan are 52 Tcf. The country is left with only 23 Tcf of gas. It is estimated that this 23 Tcf will also be depleted soon. Moreover, oil reserves are also depleting, he added. A large gap between supply and demand exist, he said adding that Pakistan’s total Risked Shale Gas in Place is 586 TCF, while technically producible Shale Reserves are 105 TCF. Total risked shale oil reserves is 227 billion barrels of oil while technically recoverable shale oil is 9.1 billion barrel oil. He explained that many coal formations (seams) contain natural gas, either within the seams itself or the surrounding rock. What was once a by-product of the coal industry is becoming an increasingly important source of methane and natural gas. Director Energy Conservation K Electric Eng, Asif Husain said that there is total 187 billion tons of coal in the country in which Thar alone contanins 175.5 billion tons of coal reserves. Pakistan has tremendous unconventional resources and Pakistan can overcome its energy woes through utilizing huge coal reserves. Business Development Manager Wartsila Finland, Kari Punnonen said that Pakistan can target existing source rock for shale gas. Core from shale formations can be calculated from re-entry into old wells. He said that Pakistan needs to perform more risk evaluation by analyzing the existing/future data for proper resource assessment. Executive Director OGRA, Eng. Sajjad Husain said that Pakistan has two options for short-term solution of energy crisis, complete deregulation of prices of all fossil fuels and interlinking prices of all fossil fuels. He said that first model may not suit Pakistan due to multiple factors and one is undue profits and cartilizations hence second model will more suit Pakistan due to its socio-economic setup. A single pool/ account may be created for fossil fuel prices. Higher and lower cost of fuels may be off-set through single account. It will make easier for consumers to choose fuel of their choice. It will offset the heavy burden on natural gas, he suggested. President International Association of Energy Economics, Turkey, Dr Gurkan Kumbaroglu said that USA’s shale gas explorations are likely to have big impact on world energy scenario in days to come.