Pakistan to auction oil, gas blocks by year-end

Pakistan has announced that it will auction highly lucrative oil and gas exploration blocks, mainly the ones earlier awarded to exploration firms but their deals were later cancelled or remained under litigation, by the end of the year in an effort to increase hydrocarbon production. This would also help reduce the country’s reliance on expensive imported fuels. The government unveiled the strategy to increase local production and overcome energy scarcity after booking four import cargoes (ships) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a high price of over $15 per million…

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Govt puts AEDB CEO hiring on hold

The government has put the appointment of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) chief executive officer (CEO) on hold following its merger with Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB). Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Power Division to expedite the legislative process for merger of AEDB with PPIB. The Power division said that hiring of the AEDB CEO is not feasible from open market at this stage of merging the two entities. The Power Division briefed the cabinet in a recent meeting that the AEDB was a statutory organisation…

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Cement industry seen as biggest source of CO2 emissions

Cement industry is the single largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Pakistan, according to a research study released on Friday. Prepared by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), an independent European environmental think tank, the study shows that CO2 emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal in Pakistan have more than doubled in the last two decades. Speaking at the virtual launch of the study organised jointly by CREA and the Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy…

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Hammad thanks Iran for normalising power supply

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar thanked the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan on Friday for “normalising” electricity supply to the bordering districts of Balochistan. “I am grateful to the Ambassador of Iran in Pakistan for promptly accepting my request and normalising the flow of electricity to the Makran division,” he said in a tweet. Gwadar, Turbat and Makran have been facing extensive power cuts for more than a week. These areas are not part of the national grid and, therefore, rely on electricity imported from Iran. The neighbouring country curtailed…

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Govt justifies buying expensive LNG to avert power tariff hike

The government on Friday conceded purchasing expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the spot market as ‘a lesser evil’, saying no body without a crystal ball could perfectly time or beat international commodity market. “Pakistan LNG Ltd (PLL) board was forced to accept the four LNG ‘spot’ tenders at $15 per mmBtu for September 2021; otherwise, the replacement fuel (ie furnace oil), which is even more expensive, would have resulted in September power prices higher by at least 20 per cent,” said a statement issued by the Petroleum Division. The…

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Renewable Power Projects Overtake Oil & Gas In Middle East

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) awarded as much as US$2.8 billion worth of renewable energy projects in the first half of 2021, compared to not a single contract award for oil- or gas-fueled power stations in the region, MEED Insight’s new report Middle East Energy Transition showed. To compare, the average value of contract awards for oil- or gas-powered stations stood at $4.8 billion annually between 2017 and 2020, according to the report. Last year alone, $6.2 billion worth of oil and gas power plant contracts…

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Local assembly of EV expected to start this year

Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar has expressed hope that under the clean and green initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan, local assembling of electric vehicles (EVs) would start in the country by this year. Addressing a consultative workshop on ‘scaling up electric mobility in Pakistan’, organised jointly by the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) and UNDP, on Thursday, the minister said that the government has introduced its first national EV policy last year and announced new incentives to promote adoption of electric vehicles. The government reduced the customs…

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IESCO Chief Hiring Draws Concern

Cabinet members have expressed serious concern over the appointment of Amjad Khan as chief executive officer (CEO) of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), who had failed to perform while heading other power distribution companies in his earlier stints. While considering the appointment for the post of Iesco CEO, the cabinet members expressed reservations over the quality of the panel and observed that the performance of the principal candidate, during his stints at other distribution companies, was not very noteworthy. The Power Division highlighted that the panel had been selected by…

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SNGPL wants connections quota to be raised to 1.2m

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) says that the only way the company can clear its backlog of millions of applications for new connections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the next three years is to increase its annual quota to 1.2 million domestic connections. “The company has applied to the regulator — the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) — to increase its quota to 1.2 million connections per annum, as the existing up to 500,000 connections is insufficient to clear the backlog of 3.2 million applications,” an…

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Expansion of existing LNG terminals opposed

Amid rising number of unaffordable bids, the Petroleum Division has opposed capacity enhancement of existing terminals of liquefied natural gas saying it would lead to competition barrier and create private monopoly. “Allowing Terminal-1 (of Engro Elengy) to expand existing terminal capacity may create the competition barrier and discourage the market for investing in new LNG terminals and infrastructure as there is limited pipeline capacity available for Gas Transport Agreement,” warned Directorate General of Liquid Gases (DGLGs) — a dedicated expert arm of the Petroleum Division. Officials said the government entities…

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