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    PM Imran Khan directs to expedite issuance of gas exploration licenses

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    PM Imran Khan directs to expedite the issuance of gas exploration licenses: Given that gas is the cheapest natural fuel, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to expedite the issuance of licenses for domestic gas exploration, The News reported.

    The directives were issued during a meeting headed by the premier to review the gas situation in the country.

    PM Imran Khan also ordered the officials to eliminate factors hindering the installation of new LNG terminals and virtual pipeline projects.

    Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) were told to coordinate and take all the other stakeholders, including investors, in the loop.

    Moreover, PM Imran Khan ordered the officials to ensure the execution of the North-South Gas Pipeline without further delay in the agreed timeline, stressing the importance of the project.

    During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed about the demand and supply of domestic gas reserves, shortfall, and import of LNG.

    The meeting was informed that the current constrained demand for gas in the country is 4,700 mmcfd, which increases to 6,000-6,500 mmcfd during the winter season. The current domestic supply amounts to 3,300 mmcfd, which is decreasing every year. The resulting shortfall has to be managed by importing LNG.

    With the current infrastructure, a shortfall of nearly 1,000 mmcfd in winters arises for which multiple options are being adopted. For the short term, the existing capacity of domestic terminals is being optimized and the process of issuance of virtual pipeline licenses is expedited. 

    In addition, the installation of two new LNG terminals is underway with all bottlenecks being removed on a priority basis.

    The meeting was attended by federal ministers Shaukat Tareen, Hammad Azhar, Asad Umar, Ali Haider Zaidi, SAPM Mahmood Moulvi, and officials of the departments concerned.

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