With the ouster of Khan in April, Pakistan’s new Shehbaz Sharif’s administration is now dealing with a fuel shortage that has caused blackouts in parts of the country.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is expected to travel to Qatar in order to address LNG supply shortages brought on by escalating prices on the international market, local media reported.
Sharif, who is leading Pakistan’s new government, has had to deal with a gasoline crisis that has resulted in blackouts in several areas of the nation. His trip follows a similar visit by Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and his accompanying delegation.
“Prime Minister is likely to go to Qatar maybe today (Tuesday) or tomorrow as a follow-up visit of the higher military authorities,” an official told local outlet, The News.
While gas prices have increased on the worldwide market, Qatar offered low-cost gas to Pakistan during the recent visit of the higher military officials, according to remarks made last Sunday by the federal minister for planning and development, Ahsan Iqbal.
Earlier, Qatar authorities told the Pakistani government that it has no LNG available for more GtG contracts till 2024-25 as Doha is over-committed to Europe.
In addition to seeking further LNG supply contracts in Qatar, the prime minister may also ask for some assistance in the form of additional LNG cargoes provided under the deferred payment method.
During the PTI administration in February 2021, higher military authorities played a key role in negotiating a second GtG deal with Qatar for ten years at a price of 10.2% of Brent, which became operational on January 1, 2022.
The 15-year GtG agreement was signed by the PMLN administration in early February 2022 at a cost of 13.37% of Brent.
However, these contracts are insufficient to meet the needs of the nation because Pakistan is required to release tenders for the purchase of at least four spot LNG cargoes each month.
This comes as LNG has become a scarce commodity on the global market as a result of the European gas crisis, with prices reaching as high as $40 per MMBTU.
QatarEnergy, previously known as Qatar Petroleum, and Pakistan State Oil Company, signed a 10-year LNG agreement last year.
The agreement, which was signed in the presence of the former prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, was dubbed the “lowest publicly disclosed liquified gas contract in the world.”
Thanks to the deal, Pakistan will receive two gas shipments on average each month; three years from now, that number is anticipated to increase to four. Former PM Khan had claimed that throughout the course of the agreement, the country will save approximately $3 billion, or $300 million yearly.
According to Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, the country is also looking for financial support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.