Source: The Nation
ISLAMABAD – Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik has said that Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is on track and it can be completed within three to four years after achieving financial close. The minister also announced expansion of TAPI gas pipeline till Gwadar. Minister of State for Petroleum Division further said that Pakistan will soon announce its refining policy and is expected to attract an investment of $12 billion to set up a world-class refinery in the country. While addressing the Thought Leaders Forum (TLF) on Pakistan’s energy vision, a harbinger for economic development, organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), MoS for Petroleum Division Dr Musadik Masood Malik said that the plan for Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-PakistanIndia (TAPI) gas pipeline has been made. The minister said there is no problem in bringing gas from Turkmenistan and they are working on the project. This project will provide up to 1.3 bcf gas per day, the minister said. He said that for onward supply of TAPI gas, construction of pipeline from Chaman to Multan is planned. The minister said that TAPI will also be extended till Gwadar. Pakistan will also lay gas pipeline from Chaman to Gwadar, the minister informed. However, regarding IranPakistan Gas Pipeline project, the minister said that it is currently facing international sanctions. The minister said that if the TAPI project achieve financial close, it can be completed within three to four years. Musadik Malik said that the subsidies have hindered the growth of energy sector infrastructure. The major problems of the energy sector include availability, affordability, and fiscal sustainability. The minister said that problems in the energy sector are not over, they are increasing. He said that the biggest issue in the energy sector is the availability. There is a big gap between supply and demand in the energy sector, the minister said. He said that the country’s energy sector is suffering from financial problems as fifty percent of its oil requirement is being imported. In Pakistan, indigenous gas is depleting at the rate of 8 to 10 percent annually, Musadik said. “We have more gas than previous winter, but the problems still exist,” he added. The minister acknowledged that energy is expensive in Pakistan which is unaffordable for majority of Pakistanis. The government is also working on increasing indigenous gas supply, he said and added that fresh round of bidding for oil and gas explorations blocks in the country will be held soon. They are committed to reduce the gas losses. Sui Northern Gas Pipeline has been told that they should control these losses. The government is installing meters to prevent gas losses, Musadik said. “We will keep track of how much gas went to the main line and how much to the consumers,” he explained. Both the Sui companies are losing 12pc up to 12 percent of the country’s gas, the minister claimed.