The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum convened on Tuesday at Parliament House 

Islamabad, October 17, 2022 (PPI-OT):Presided over by Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir; members present included Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmedzai, Senator Saifullah Abro and senior officers from Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), OGDCL and OGRA along with all concerned. Minister of Energy (Petroleum Division) Senator Musadik Masood Malik was present as well.

Matters that were discussed included reforms to facilitate USD 3 billion investment on LNG Terminal by Qatar Investment Company; LNG purchase to face challenges in winter; Uch Gas Compressor Project and findings of Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PIMC) regarding losses worth approximately USD 2 billion. Point of Public Importance regarding gas load shedding in Balochistan was taken up as well.

Deliberating over reforms to facilitate USD 3 billion investment on LNG Terminal by Qatar Investment Company the Committee was informed that the ECC has approved an amendment of the LNG Policy for establishment of new LNG terminals being developed by the Private Sector.

The amendments gives provision of Third-Party-Access (TPA) to new LNG terminals developed by Private Sector without involving any government guarantees/ off-take commitments will be on optional basis on negotiated tariff for a period of 20 years from the date of commencement of construction. A proposal to amend the OGRA Ordinance was submitted to the CCLC of the Cabinet as well. A draft Bill has been submitted to the Law Division for introduction in the Parliament.

Discussing LNG spot purchase to face challenges in winter; the Committee was informed that high prices remained a huge challenge to the purchase of spot LNG. Tendering and Pakistani LCs by foreign banks were other major issues that the sector faced. Increase in demand of natural gas has been increasing rapidly and the shortfall of indigenous gas during the winters is managed via diversion of RLNG to domestic sector and Government approved load management.

The Committee stressed the need to curb subsidizing of gas to large industries and said that alternative sources of energy must be introduced to meet the shortfall. The tendering process must be made more stringent to ensure that the need of the common man is met.

The Committee was informed that the Government is exploring various energy sufficiency projects especially with markets in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. It was asserted that measures must be taken to ensure gas price regulation, so that the market is not monopolized by the Private Sector.

Regarding the Uch Compression Project the Committee was informed that the project is moving through the process of scrutiny and Management approval. The project is of national importance and on an extremely tight timeline. It is expected that the project will be completed by November, 2023.

Regarding the findings of Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PIMC) regarding losses worth approximately USD 2 billion the Committee was informed that the Petroleum Division disagreed on many findings and points of the report. A detailed response of the Ministry has been shared with PMIC.

Discussing gas load shedding in Balochistan, Chairman Muhammad Abdul Qadir stressed the need for more effective management of slabs during the winter months, especially in Balochistan so that the local populace is not overburdened by gas tariffs. It was also decided that all out efforts may be made to make gas fields Jhal Magsi, MS Sarona and Jandran operational.

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