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China to Build Pipeline From Iran to Pakistan

ENLARGE Iranian workers weld two pipes together in 2013, at the start of construction on a pipeline to transfer natural gas from Iran to Pakistan in Chabahar, Iran. Photo: Vahid Salemi/ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD—China will build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to Pakistan to help address Pakistan’s acute energy shortage, under a deal to be signed during the Chinese president’s visit to Islamabad this month, Pakistani officials said. The arrival of President Xi Jinping is expected to showcase China’s commitment to infrastructure development in ally Pakistan, at a time when few other countries are willing to make major investments in cash-strapped, terrorism-plagued, Pakistan. The pipeline would amount to an early benefit for both Pakistan and Iran from the framework agreement reached earlier this month between Tehran and the U.S. and other world powers to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The U.S. had previously threatened Pakistan with […]

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Pakistan says Saudi-led coalition in Yemen wants troops

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s defense minister says a Saudi-led coalition targeting Shiite rebels in Yemen wants it to contribute ground troops. The comments Monday by Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif come as Pakistan’s parliament debates whether to contribute militarily to the campaign against the rebels, known as Houthis. Pakistan has offered its verbal support for the mission. Days of airstrikes have yet to dislodge the Houthis from territory they hold across Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country. That’s led to speculation that there could be a ground operation launched in Yemen. Asif says Saudi Arabia also asked for aircraft and naval ships for the campaign. The Saudi-led campaign entered its 12th day Monday, targeting rebels who took over the capital, Sanaa, in September and eventually forced President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee.

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Outcry and fears grow as Pakistan builds new nuclear reactors

Outcry and fears grow as Pakistan builds new nuclear reactors thumbnail The Karachi Nuclear PowerComplex is on an earthquake-prone seafront less than 20 miles from downtown Karachi. (Max Becherer/Polaris Images for The Washington Post) KARACHI, Pakistan — World leaders have fretted for years that terrorists may try to steal one of Pakistan’s nuclear bombs and detonate it in a foreign country. But some Karachi residents say the real nuclear nightmare is unfolding here in Pakistan’s largest and most volatile city. On the edge of Karachi, on an earthquake-prone seafront vulnerable to tsunamis and not far from where al-Qaeda militants nearly hijacked a Pakistan navy vessel last fall, China is constructing two large nuclear reactors for energy-starved Pakistan. The new reactors, utilizing a cutting-edge design not yet in use anywhere in the world, will each provide 1,100 megawatts to Pakistan’s national energy grid. They are being built next to a much […]

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Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline not abandoned

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline not abandoned thumbnail The Pakistani commerce minister says the country has not abandoned the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, which is scheduled to provide Pakistan with Iranian natural gas. Pakistan will pursue the IP project after the removal of anti-Iran sanctions, the Express Tribune quoted Khurram Dastgir Khan as saying in a Saturday report. “A gas pipeline that is going to be laid from [the Pakistani port city of] Gwadar to [the port city of] Nawabshah can be extended by 11 kilometers to Iran,” the minister said. Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement for the construction of the gas pipeline in 1995. Later, Iran made a proposal to extend the pipeline from Pakistan into India. In February 1999, an accord between Iran and India was signed. But due to the US pressure, India withdrew from the project in 2009. Iran has already built its 900-kilometer share […]

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Pakistan gets ADB loan for LNG port facility

Sign up for our daily Energy Newsletter Asian Development Bank extends loan to Pakistan to help build LNG facility near Karachi. UPI/Stephen Shaver MANILA, Feb. 27 (UPI) — The Asian Development Bank said Friday it was supporting efforts to help Pakistan build its first liquefied natural gas terminal with a $30 million loan. Pakistani company Engro Corp. will get funding from the ADB to build the regasification terminal at a port near Karachi. The plant will be able to convert as much as 3 million tons of LNG per year to gas for use in state power plants. ADB investment specialist Mohammed Azim Hashimi said the loan would help Pakistan build a cleaner, more efficient and more diverse power sector . "Pakistan urgently needs to utilize its existing power generation capacity fully, while reducing its reliance on costly imported diesel fuel for electricity generation," he said in a statement. […]

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A Thirsty, Violent World

Credit Photograph by Mauricio Lima/The New York Times/Redux Angry protesters filled the streets of Karachi last week, clogging traffic lanes and public squares until police and paratroopers were forced to intervene. That’s not rare in Pakistan, which is often a site of political and religious violence. But last week’s protests had nothing to do with freedom of expression, drone wars, or Americans. They were about access to water. When Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Minister of Defense, Power, and Water (yes, that is one ministry), warned that the country’s chronic water shortages could soon become uncontrollable, he was looking on the bright side. The meagre allotment of water available to each Pakistani is a third of what it was in 1950. As the country’s population rises, that amount is falling fast. Dozens of other countries face similar situations—not someday, or soon, but now. Rapid climate change, population growth, and a […]

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Pakistan Close to Agreement With Qatar Over LNG Supplies for Power Plants

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan is close to striking a long-term deal worth potentially $22.5 billion or more to import liquefied natural gas to help fuel the country’s power stations and ease its crippling electricity crisis, Pakistan’s top energy official said. “We are negotiating with Qatar and a few other sources,” said Pakistani Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “The deal will be very competitive and very beneficial for Pakistan.” An agreement with Qatar is expected by early March, Pakistani officials say. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to office in May 2013 on a pledge to reduce the country’s electricity shortages, which see power regularly cut to homes and businesses for eight or more hours a day. Tackling the electricity deficit, however, has thus far largely eluded Mr. Sharif’s government. The government has promised to eradicate the electricity shutdowns, known as load shedding, by the […]

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Pakistan Braces for Major Water Shortages

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Energy-starved Pakistanis, their economy battered by chronic fuel and electricity shortages, may soon have to contend with a new resource crisis: major water shortages, the Pakistani government warned this week. A combination of global climate change and local waste and mismanagement have led to an alarmingly rapid depletion of Pakistan ’s water supply, said the minister for water and energy, Khawaja Muhammad Asif. “Under the present situation, in the next six to seven years, Pakistan can be a water-starved country,” Mr. Asif said in an interview, echoing a warning that he first issued at a news conference in Lahore this week. The prospect of a major water crisis in Pakistan, even if several years distant, offers a stark reminder of a growing challenge in other poor and densely populated countries that are vulnerable to global climate change. In Pakistan, it poses a further challenge to Prime […]

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What is driving Pakistan’s fuel crisis?

Pakistani motorists wait for their turn to fill their vehicles at a petrol station in Islamabad on January 22, 2015 (Photo: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) The shortage of imported oil began some two weeks ago, with affected areas almost grinding to a halt. Across the country, many buses have been taken off the streets, and scuffles have broken out at gas stations where people wait in long queues for fuel. Although the situation has eased slightly, the crisis prompted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pull out of last week’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Pakistan has to deal with chronic power cuts, and tackling the energy issue was one of Sharif’s main campaign pledges ahead of the 2013 general election. The situation was recently exacerbated by an apparent rebel attack on a key power line which plunged around 80 percent of the South Asian country into darkness over the […]

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Rebels Tied to Blackout Across Most of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Towns and cities across Pakistan plunged into darkness early Sunday when what officials said was an attack by militants on a transmission line short-circuited the national electricity grid, presenting a new indictment of the government’s faltering efforts to solve the country’s chronic power crisis. Emergency efforts to end the blackout, widely described as Pakistan ’s worst ever, resulted in a partial restoration of power in the capital, Islamabad, and the most populous city, Karachi, by Sunday evening. Even so, 80 percent of the country remained without power, including the provincial capitals of Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta, an official said. The minister for water and power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, blamed separatist rebels in the western province of Baluchistan who, he said, had blown up a critical transmission line. But experts said the attack only highlighted the growing vulnerability of Pakistan’s power grid, which has come under severe […]

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Pakistan Fuel Shortage Crisis Forces Sharif to Cancel Davos Trip

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif canceled a trip to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as the nation’s worst fuel shortages in memory threatened to revive street protests against him. Since the crisis began last week, he’s suspended five officials, including Pakistan State Oil Co.’s deputy chief, and has sought hourly updates on the situation. The government has sold fuel from its reserves and private companies have boosted supplies as anger grows over long waits at petrol stations. The cash-strapped distributor’s move this month to reduce shipments by 80 percent left it unable to meet a surge in demand after the government cut gas prices to match lower global costs. The Finance Ministry has arranged emergency funding to import oil, Power Minister Khawaja Asif said in a Jan. 21 text message. The crisis is a test of Pakistan’s credibility in the eyes of overseas investors, whose fivefold […]

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State of denial: Power ministry denies fuel shortage for electricity

PSO fuel imports declined 80 per cent, but ministry claims stocks will be enough. STOCK IMAGE ISLAMABAD:  In yet another sign of a lack of coordination within the government, the water and power ministry on Wednesday denied that there was a fuel shortage at power plants, claiming that power generation companies had 10 days’ worth of fuel inventory. A spokesperson for the ministry said that there was little possibility of the power crisis worsening, adding that the ministry was prepared to handle all contingencies. The statement from the water and power ministry appears to be a response to allegations leveled against them by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at his press conference on Monday. Dar had placed the responsibility for the recent petrol shortages squarely on the petroleum ministry and water and power ministry. The statement from the ministry also contradicts the account that Finance Secretary Waqar Masood gave in […]

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Pakistan’s Sharif pulls out of Davos amid fuel crisis

Politicians are arguing over the cause of the petrol shortages Related Stories Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has pulled out of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Switzerland to tackle nationwide fuel shortages. Petrol stations in most major cities closed temporarily last week, and drivers elsewhere face huge queues. Ministers blame a huge spike in demand for the shortage, but critics say it was caused by government incompetence. Mr Sharif held a crisis meeting earlier and promised to punish those causing the problems. It is the second year running that the prime minister has pulled out of the WEF in Davos. Last year he was forced to cancel the trip because of a Taliban attack. Opposition demonstrations Pakistan has faced intermittent fuel crises for years, and Mr Sharif promised during the 2013 election to resolve the issues. Opposition supporters say government incompetence is the real cause But last […]

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Fuel Shortages Show Pakistani Struggle to Cope With Oil’s Drop

As motorists around the world enjoy the lowest fuel prices in five years thanks to surging production, Pakistanis are struggling to fill up their tanks. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is racing to tackle one of the nation’s worst fuel shortages in recent memory. Since the crisis began last week, he’s suspended five officials, including Pakistan State Oil Co.’s deputy chief, and has sought hourly updates on the situation. The cash-strapped distributor’s move this month to reduce shipments by 80 percent left it unable to meet a surge in demand after the government cut gas prices to match lower global costs. The Finance Ministry has arranged emergency funding to import oil, Power Minister Khawaja Asif said in a text message yesterday. The crisis is a test of Pakistan’s credibility in the eyes of overseas investors, whose fivefold increase in purchases of the nation’s shares resulted in Asia ’s second-highest […]

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Pipeline to Pakistan still viable, Iran says

Pipeline to Pakistan still in the cards for an Iranian government coping with sanctions targeting its energy sector. UPI/Shutterstock/Kodda "Pakistan has signed a deal to import 760 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from Iran and by the beginning of 2015, it should start receiving this amount of gas according to agreement," Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said. Once dubbed the Peace Pipeline, and including India as the terminal country, Iran has long held out its gas reserves as an opportunity for Eastern trading partners. Washington and its Western allies, however, have backed a rival project that would stretch from one of the world’s largest natural gas fields in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. For Pakistan, sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector meant it was time to reconsider the pipeline project. Government officials told Pakistani media outlets they were declaring force majeure on the pipeline , meaning it […]

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Pakistan looks for exit door with Iranian gas pipeline

Pakistan implies it’s looking for exit door from gas project Iran once dubbed the Peace Pipeline. UPI/Hamid Forotan ISLAMABAD, Nov. 25 (UPI) — The Pakistani government has invoked force majeure on an agreement to build a cross-border gas pipeline with Iran, a ministry official said Tuesday. A senior official inside the Pakistani Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told the Pakistan Observer the government in Islamabad wanted to avoid litigation because of its decision to back away from a pipeline clouded by U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector. "We have stepped up our efforts to get the gas deal changed and are in touch with authorities concerned in Iran and hopeful to get to result oriented talks some time in next month to resolve the issue amicably," he said. Once dubbed the Peace Pipeline, Iran aims to establish a new natural gas route eastward with its cross-border pipeline to […]

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Kabul, Islamabad pursue gas pipeline connections

Islamabad agrees with Kabul to put renewed focus on multilateral natural gas pipeline. UPI/Hamid Forotan ISLAMABAD, Nov. 17 (UPI) — Islamabad thanks the leadership in Kabul for putting renewed emphasis behind a multilateral gas pipeline from Turkmenistan, the Pakistani prime minister said. Representatives from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan , Pakistan and India met last year in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, to sign a transaction advisory services agreement. That cleared the way for the Asian Development Bank to look for a consortium to find the money needed to build the $7.8 billion pipeline. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Saturday with visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss regional energy and trade initiatives, including TAPI. "We reaffirmed our resolve to forge a robust economic partnership – by expanding trade, promoting investment, improving infrastructure, building road and rail links and enhancing energy collaboration," he said. Pakistan and India would each get 1.3 […]

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Pakistan courting LNG suppliers

A report Thursday from the Platts energy news service says Pakistan is on the cusp of receiving liquefied natural gas supplies from international companies. Platts reported an unnamed official in the Pakistani Ministry of Petroleum said 12 international companies have expressed interest in supplying Pakistan with as much as 40 million cubic feet of LNG per year. State-owned import company Pakistan State Oil solicited interest for LNG shipments in May. Pakistan doesn’t import LNG, but said Monday it was getting China’s help with the construction of a LNG terminal and associated pipeline infrastructure at the port city of Gwadar near the Iranian border. Islamabad estimates the pipeline could cost $1 billion, with another $2 billion need for the LNG terminal. The poor state of the nation’s energy infrastructure is leaving it short on energy supplies, the government said. Pakistan and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding for LNG supplies […]

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Pakistan working with China on gas needs

Pakistan’s government said Monday it was getting China’s help with the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal and associated pipeline infrastructure. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said it consented to the construction of an LNG terminal for the port city of Gwadar near the Iranian border. An associated pipeline would be built through a government-to-government arrangement. "We are running from pillar to post to get this mega LNG terminal-cum-pipeline included in the list of early harvest projects agreed with China," Pakistani Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khagan Abbasi told The News , a Pakistani newspaper. "It will take three to four years to get commissioned." The minister said the pipeline would cost an estimated $1 billion and more than $2 billion would be needed for the LNG terminal. The Pakistani government has said aging infrastructure in the country is leaving it short on energy supplies. Sanctions on […]

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MOL makes big oil find in Pakistan

Hungarian energy company MOL said Tuesday it made an oil discovery in an area in Pakistan close to estimated reserves of 22 million barrels. MOL, though the Ghauri joint venture, said it made an oil discovery at the Ghauri X-1 well in Punjab province in Pakistan . It reached a total test flow rate of 5,500 barrels per day and the Hungarian group said initial estimates of the oil in place could be significant. In the vicinity, the company said , the estimate of reserves in place is 22 million barrels. Oil production from the site could come on stream as early as this month. The Pakistani Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said total oil production from 2012-13 averaged just over 70,000 bpd. The government says it needs to explore, develop and exploit its petroleum resources in order to rely less on foreign supplies to meet its energy […]

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Pakistan needs Iran’s gas, envoy says

-Pakistan’s energy sector is in such disarray that it has few choices apart from a natural gas pipeline from Iran, the former Iranian envoy to Pakistan said. Ambassador Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian told Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency there are rivals to a pipeline clouded by sanctions imposed on Iran’s energy sector. "Owing to the grave conditions of energy (supply and demand) in Pakistan, some of the country’s major cities spend half of the day without electricity, meaning that Pakistan’s need to energy is real and inevitable," he said Sunday. Iran last year pulled out of a finance deal for Pakistan because of sanctions pressure. Pakistan was slated to get 21 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Iranian pipeline. The U.S. government supports a rival pipeline that would deliver natural gas to Pakistan from Turkmenistan. Last year, Washington said it was negotiating […]

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Pakistan needs Iran's gas, envoy says

-Pakistan’s energy sector is in such disarray that it has few choices apart from a natural gas pipeline from Iran, the former Iranian envoy to Pakistan said. Ambassador Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian told Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency there are rivals to a pipeline clouded by sanctions imposed on Iran’s energy sector. "Owing to the grave conditions of energy (supply and demand) in Pakistan, some of the country’s major cities spend half of the day without electricity, meaning that Pakistan’s need to energy is real and inevitable," he said Sunday. Iran last year pulled out of a finance deal for Pakistan because of sanctions pressure. Pakistan was slated to get 21 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Iranian pipeline. The U.S. government supports a rival pipeline that would deliver natural gas to Pakistan from Turkmenistan. Last year, Washington said it was negotiating […]

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Pakistan cuts gas supply to industry, CNG pumps to curb blackouts

Pakistan plans to cut natural gas supply by around 150,000 Mcf/d to fertilizer plants and CNG pumps to increase electricity supply to cities facing daily rolling blackouts, according to officials in the power and oil ministries. The ministries decided to reduce the duration of load shedding in the eastern Punjab province, where daily power outages last 10-14 hours, the two sources said on condition of anonymity. Pakistan’s fertilizer sector previously consumed about 600,000 Mcf/day of gas, and CNG pumps use about 400,000 Mcf/day. On Thursday, the government started reducing gas supply to fertilizer plants by 50,000-75,000 Mcf/d, with the remainder of the cuts coming soon, the sources said. The plan is expected to generate about 600 MW, still well below the 4 GW shortfall. Pakistan’s overall electricity output stands at 11.5 GW, about 74% of total demand of 15.5 GW, the sources said. Hydropower […]

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Pakistan frustrated with gas import options

Pakistan’s former petroleum secretary expressed doubts about gas supplies from neighbors but the government said Iranian negotiations could bring relief. Gulfraz Ahmad told delegates at an energy forum in Islamabad the U.S. government’s nuclear energy assistance to India partly derailed a trilateral gas pipeline from Iran, the Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune reported Friday "After withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan , I fear Washington will again be opposing TAPI pipeline following a shift in its policies," he was quoted as saying. TAPI refers to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline, which the United States has backed in favor of the Iranian gas pipeline. Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Alsama was quoted by rival newspaper the Nation, however, as saying waning sanctions pressure on Iran could breathe new life into that pipeline option. "We hope that the process [nuclear negotiations with Iran] would lead to successful settling […]

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Asians concerned about future of energy: study

Energy shortages and higher energy prices are among the chief concerns of people surveyed in nine Asian countries, a study commissioned by Shell indicates. Shell Pakistan, in a news release Tuesday announcing the findings of the "Future Energy Survey," noted that by 2030, the world will require 40 percent to 50 percent more energy, water and food, amid rising demand and increasing population. The study by Paris-based market research firm Ipsos involved 8,446 participants in nine Asian countries — Brunei, Korea, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — from January to December 2013: Specific concerns revealed by the survey, Shell says, include: 91 percent of respondents in Thailand and 70 percent in South Korea cited energy shortages as a chief concern; 91 percent of respondents in India and 79 percent of respondents in Singapore cited higher energy prices; in Vietnam, water shortages […]

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Pakistani official says Iranian gas line slowed by funding issues

Slow development of a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan is caused by funding issues, not pressure from the United States, a Pakistani official said. "The gas pipeline is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and Iran," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said during a Thursday news briefing. Pakistan says a pipeline from Iran could help offset an energy shortage brought on by aging infrastructure and a crumbling energy sector. Envisioned more than a decade ago as a pipeline that could reach to India, the project has come up against pressure from Western powers concerned about its benefits to Iran. Aslam said the development was plagued more by the lack of funding than by pressure from any foreign government. "The progress on pipeline has been slow because of the funding issues and not because of the United States," she said. Pakistan could get 21 million […]

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Pakistan’s Oil & Gas to Boost Supply as Deficit Hurts Growth

; Gas Development Co., Pakistan ’s biggest energy explorer, will boost gas output from existing fields by a third in the next 12 to 18 months as energy shortages hamper growth and shut factories. “We are working on six projects and expect to increase gas supplies by about 350 million cubic feet a day,” Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Riaz Khan said in an interview yesterday. “The major portion of gas would come in this financial year” which ends June 30, he said. New supply is needed to ease gas shortages that widened to about 2 billion cubic feet a day during peak hours this winter causing social unrest and shutting factories in the nation of over 196 million people. Pakistan’s production of natural gas has plateaued since 2008, the country’s central bank said in a report yesterday. Gas from existing reservoirs of Kunnar Pasakhi Deep, […]

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Pakistan’s Oil & Gas to Boost Supply as Deficit Hurts Growth

; Gas Development Co., Pakistan ’s biggest energy explorer, will boost gas output from existing fields by a third in the next 12 to 18 months as energy shortages hamper growth and shut factories. “We are working on six projects and expect to increase gas supplies by about 350 million cubic feet a day,” Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Riaz Khan said in an interview yesterday. “The major portion of gas would come in this financial year” which ends June 30, he said. New supply is needed to ease gas shortages that widened to about 2 billion cubic feet a day during peak hours this winter causing social unrest and shutting factories in the nation of over 196 million people. Pakistan’s production of natural gas has plateaued since 2008, the country’s central bank said in a report yesterday. Gas from existing reservoirs of Kunnar Pasakhi Deep, […]

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Pakistan has sanctions jitters over Iranian gas pipeline

A planned natural gas pipeline from Iran isn’t protected from Western economic sanctions, the Pakistani Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said. A Pakistani Senate committee was told by the ministry that relaxed sanctions that came as a result of last year’s interim nuclear deal with Iran didn’t extend to a planned natural gas pipeline from Iran, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported Tuesday. Pakistan says its aging infrastructure has left it with a crumbling energy sector and a subsequent need for an external source of natural gas. Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said companies normally slated for pipeline construction on the Pakistani side of the border would likely face sanctions once the work began. Iran says it has the pipeline completed on its side of the border. The Pakistani government said it wants to meet with its Iranian counterparts to discuss the issue later this […]

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Exclusive: China commits $6.5 billion for Pakistani nuclear project

China has committed $6.5 billion to finance the construction of a major nuclear power project in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi as it seeks to strengthen ties with its strategic partner, Pakistani officials said. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif broke ground on the $9.59 billion project last month but officials have provided few details of how they plan to finance it. Financing documents seen by Reuters showed China National Nuclear Cooperation (CNNC) has promised to grant a loan of at least $6.5 billion to finance the project which will have two reactors with a capacity of 1,100 megawatts each. Two members of the government’s energy team and three sources close to the deal confirmed this. CNNC was not available for comment. "China has complete confidence in Pakistan’s capacity to run a nuclear power plant with all checks in place," said Ansar Parvez, chairman of the Pakistan […]

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Water security: ‘Water scarcity has put survival in jeopardy’

Increasing population worldwide, particularly in Pakistan has caused deterioration of the environment and challenges of food and water security, speakers at a seminar on Integrated Flood Management said on Tuesday. The seminar was organised at the New Senate Hall by the Water Management Research Centre of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. It was chaired by Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan. Dr Khan said 43 per cent of the world’s population lived in urban centres… urbanisation was also on the rise in Asia. By 2020, half of Asia’s population would be living in cities, he said. “We need to take emergency measures to provide water facilities for cities and create awareness about rational use of water,” said Dr Khan. Pakistan is barely above the 1,000 cubic metres per capita benchmark for water scarcity, he said. This would worsen in the […]

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Iran advises Pakistan to seek outside help on pipeline

An Iranian deputy energy minister said his government was recommending Pakistan look for a third party to help finance a natural gas pipeline from Iran. "Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh recommended Islamabad demand help from third-party companies for the completion and acceleration of the project on the Pakistani soil," Ali Majedi, a deputy petroleum minister in charge of international affairs, said. He was quoted by The News International, a Pakistani newspaper, as saying Monday it was possible that some of those companies could buy natural gas from Iran and then sell it to Pakistan. Iran last week backed out of a $500 million finance commitment to help Pakistan build the pipeline on its side of the border because of the sanctions constraints. Pakistani Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said his government was still interested in the project, though it was […]

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Pakistani Shi'ite cleric shot dead in reprisal attack

A prominent Pakistani Shi’ite Muslim cleric has been shot dead in an apparent reprisal attack following the murder this month of a Sunni Muslim leader, police said on Monday. Sectarian violence has been on the rise in Pakistan, adding to the list of concerns for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a time when security forces are already stretched fighting an escalating Taliban insurgency in the northwest of the country. Allama Nasir Abbas, leader of Tehreek Nifaz Fiqah-e-Jafaria, a banned Shi’ite organisation, was shot by unknown gunmen on a motorbike as he drove home after addressing a religious gathering in the city of Lahore on Sunday evening. "It’s a targeted attack. The gunmen shot him from close range when he was driving home along with his driver and a friend," Lahore police chief Chaudhry Shafeeq told Reuters. "Abbas died on the way to hospital. His driver and […]

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Pakistani Shi’ite cleric shot dead in reprisal attack

A prominent Pakistani Shi’ite Muslim cleric has been shot dead in an apparent reprisal attack following the murder this month of a Sunni Muslim leader, police said on Monday. Sectarian violence has been on the rise in Pakistan, adding to the list of concerns for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a time when security forces are already stretched fighting an escalating Taliban insurgency in the northwest of the country. Allama Nasir Abbas, leader of Tehreek Nifaz Fiqah-e-Jafaria, a banned Shi’ite organisation, was shot by unknown gunmen on a motorbike as he drove home after addressing a religious gathering in the city of Lahore on Sunday evening. "It’s a targeted attack. The gunmen shot him from close range when he was driving home along with his driver and a friend," Lahore police chief Chaudhry Shafeeq told Reuters. "Abbas died on the way to hospital. His driver and […]

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Pakistan stands by Iranian gas pipeline

A Pakistani government minister said sanctions on Iran’s energy are curbing progress on a bilateral gas pipeline but Islamabad was committed nonetheless. Pakistani Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Iran pulled out of a $500 million finance commitment because of the sanctions constraints, the Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune reported Friday. "The compressor equipment required [for the pipeline] would not be available due to sanctions against Iran," he was quoted as saying. "However, we are committed and will make the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline." The Pakistani government said the aging infrastructure in the country means it needs outside help to keep up with energy demand. Iran said construction on its end of the pipeline is making progress and had offered financial support to Pakistan to help build it on its side of the border. The U.S. government supports a rival […]

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Sanctions cloud Iran, Pakistan pipeline prospects

The Pakistani government said Wednesday it was ready to move ahead with a gas pipeline from Iran but needed assurances regarding the impact of U.S. sanctions. Pakistani Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Monday in Tehran with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh to discuss moving forward on a long-planned natural gas pipeline from Iran. A Pakistani government official told the Express Tribune on condition of anonymity there were concerns in Islamabad about U.S. sanctions on Iran. “We cannot move ahead with the project unless the issue of possible U.S. sanctions is resolved,” the official said. Iran got relief from Western economic sanctions in exchange for nuclear concessions after reaching an interim deal with multilateral negotiators last month. Iran’s trade in the energy sector, however, is still limited by sanctions. The Pakistani government said it needs more sources of natural gas […]

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Pakistan to push forward on gas project with Iran

Pakistan will push forward with a controversial pipeline to import natural gas from neighboring Iran, Pakistan said Tuesday, a project opposed by the United States. The pipeline will link Iran’s gas fields with energy-starved Pakistan, but by going ahead with the project, Pakistan may incur U.S. and international sanctions imposed on Iran – or anyone doing business with Iran – over that country’s nuclear program. The U.S. has opposed the project and instead supported an alternative proposal to build a pipeline from the gas fields of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Tuesday that petroleum ministers of the two countries met in Tehran on Monday to discuss the project, which has been beset by repeated delays. The two countries decided to fast track the pipeline and formulate a road map to work out challenges, the ministry said. […]

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Power Outages Hobble Pakistan's Biggest Exporters

Muhammad Latif stays in his neat office these days, upstairs from the vast textile factory he founded in 1975. Until a few years ago, he says, his business, Chenab Ltd., made high-end sportswear and bed linen for some of America’s best-known retailers, from Macy’s to Tommy Hilfiger to Victoria’s Secret, in this industrial city in central Pakistan. A workforce that peaked at 14,000 fed rolls of cloth into state-of-the art Italian and German machines or sewed garments on sprawling automated production lines. Today, crippled by the shortages of electricity that have paralyzed this country in the past five years, most of the machinery stands idle, and the staff has shrunk to 4,500. Sales for the year ended in June are down nearly 75% to 2.17 billion Pakistani rupees, or about $20 million, from 2008, according to the company. “I don’t go downstairs. I get depressed there,” Mr. […]

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Power Outages Hobble Pakistan’s Biggest Exporters

Muhammad Latif stays in his neat office these days, upstairs from the vast textile factory he founded in 1975. Until a few years ago, he says, his business, Chenab Ltd., made high-end sportswear and bed linen for some of America’s best-known retailers, from Macy’s to Tommy Hilfiger to Victoria’s Secret, in this industrial city in central Pakistan. A workforce that peaked at 14,000 fed rolls of cloth into state-of-the art Italian and German machines or sewed garments on sprawling automated production lines. Today, crippled by the shortages of electricity that have paralyzed this country in the past five years, most of the machinery stands idle, and the staff has shrunk to 4,500. Sales for the year ended in June are down nearly 75% to 2.17 billion Pakistani rupees, or about $20 million, from 2008, according to the company. “I don’t go downstairs. I get depressed there,” Mr. […]

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Pakistan Breaks Ground on Nuclear Power Plant Project With China

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday ceremonially broke ground on a $9.59 billion nuclear power complex to be built in Karachi with China’s help, seeking to ease Pakistan’s long-running energy crisis and signaling a new step by China in becoming a top nuclear supplier. The deal, which officials said was still being finalized, is a major new advance in energy cooperation between the two countries, dwarfing previous reactor projects built along with China at Chashma, in Pakistan’s interior. And it establishes a growing counterpoint to a nuclear axis between the United States and India in recent years that Pakistani officials have seen as an irritant and Chinese officials have seen as a geopolitical challenge. “The beginning of the 2,200-megawatt power project is indeed a proud moment in the energy history of Pakistan,” Mr. Sharif said at the ceremony, adding that the construction was to be completed […]

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Pakistan sees hope for Iranian gas pipeline

A Pakistani government official said a breakthrough nuclear deal with Tehran may breathe new life into a natural gas pipeline planned from Iran. “We hope the agreement between Iran and the world powers would revive confidence of countries like China and Russia to finance the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project,” the official told The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, Monday. Iran and delegates from the so-called P5-plus-1 nations — the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany — in concert with the European Union, reached a landmark nuclear deal in Geneva, Switzerland, last weekend. Under the terms of the agreement, Iran agreed to suspend certain parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some economic sanctions. “We are hopeful that those [foreign finance] institutions would have some confidence and they would sponsor the [pipeline] project after Iran and Western nations inked the […]

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U.S., Pakistani officials to discuss energy issues

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) — A U.S. State Department official in charge of energy policy aims to help tackle Pakistan’s energy woes with visiting Pakistani officials, the department said. Carlos Pascual, U.S. coordinator for international energy affairs, is part of a group scheduled to meet Tuesday with Pakistani Minister of Natural Resources Shahid Abassi and Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif. The meeting is part of a strategic energy dialogue announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his August visit to Pakistan. “This working group fosters cooperation on Pakistan’s energy sector, including power generation, renewable energy, gas, and reform priorities,” the State Department announced Sunday. Pakistan’s aging infrastructure and energy sector mismanagement have left most the country without a reliable source of electricity, observers say. The State Department said the U.S. government helped Pakistan add 1,000 megawatts of power to its grid since 2009. Pakistan’s interest in […]

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Pakistan ‘ready to deliver nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia’

Intelligence sources say Pakistan-made nuclear weapons ready for delivery to Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to counter Iran’s atomic programme, but Islamabad says claims ‘baseless’ Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also dismissed the allegations as “baseless”, as did General Hamid Gul, a former head of the ISI intelligence service. Saudi officials have long told their American allies that they planned to obtain atomic weapons if Iran went nuclear. The latest reports suggests they could be ready even sooner. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden last month that if Iran got the bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring”. Pakistan declared itself as a nuclear armed state in 1998 with its first test. It has never signed up non-proliferation agreements and has […]

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Pakistan 'ready to deliver nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia'

Intelligence sources say Pakistan-made nuclear weapons ready for delivery to Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to counter Iran’s atomic programme, but Islamabad says claims ‘baseless’ Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also dismissed the allegations as “baseless”, as did General Hamid Gul, a former head of the ISI intelligence service. Saudi officials have long told their American allies that they planned to obtain atomic weapons if Iran went nuclear. The latest reports suggests they could be ready even sooner. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden last month that if Iran got the bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring”. Pakistan declared itself as a nuclear armed state in 1998 with its first test. It has never signed up non-proliferation agreements and has […]

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Iran frustrated with gas line for Pakistan

TEHRAN, Nov. 5 (UPI) — Pakistan needs to live up to its end of the bargain for a cross-border natural gas pipeline planned from Iran, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi said. Majedi was quoted by Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying the Iranian government wasn’t going to help cover the cost of building the pipeline in Pakistani territory. “We did not make such a commitment to help Pakistan with $2 billion for the construction of the pipeline,” he said Monday. Iran has expressed concern about the project, in the planning stages for decades, because of economic uncertainty from its Pakistani counterparts. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted by Fars as saying last week the nullification of the contract “for supplying gas to Pakistan is likely.” Iran’s Western adversaries oppose the pipeline because of the economic benefits it would bring Tehran. Washington, in particular, favors a […]

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Iranian official says Iran doing its part on gas pipeline to Pakistan

TEHRAN, Nov. 4 (UPI) — Iran has done most of the work needed to get a troubled gas pipeline developed for the Pakistani market, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said. “Iran has done a major part of the work [necessary] for the implementation of the project and now Iran’s gas has reached near the border with Pakistan with a high capacity,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying in a Press TV report Sunday. Zanganeh questioned the prospects for the pipeline last week, saying Pakistan was having trouble financing construction of the pipeline in its territory. Iran’s Fars News Agency quoted Pakistani lawmaker Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani as saying the pipeline “must be completed.” Pakistan’s aging infrastructure and energy sector mismanagement have left most the country without a reliable source of electricity, observers say. The U.S. government warned Pakistan earlier this year the pipeline would violate sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector. U.S. […]

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