FROM RUSSIA WITH GAS PIPELINE
Russia is inching closer towards Pakistan due to the reason more than one. As a matter of fact, the proximity of India towards USA has alarmed Russia to find an ally in the region. Resultantly, Pakistan found Russia in the form of a friend as a windfall. The best example we see the agreement between Pakistan and Russia. The duo has signed a $10-billion offshore gas pipeline deal on September 27 in Moscow, a project planned by the latter to capture the energy market of Pakistan. According to the agreement, Pakistan will import some 500 million to 1 billion cubic foot of gas from Russia daily, which would be transported via sea link, the agreement stipulates. The pipeline construction is expected to be completed in three to four years. Exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) may prove to be another way for Russia to signal its expanding cooperation with Pakistan and for PM Imran Khan to demonstrate his reformist energy agenda.
Pakistan is the energy starved country on the brink of sea of energy. We are told numerous ways to cope with chronic power shortage in the country. However, no permanent solution has yet been implemented in the country. IP is a viable option which can help Pakistan to meet the challenges. In fact, unhindered supply of natural gas can solve several problems. Power plants upon natural gas can economically beneficial for the country. Furthermore, at a time when natural gas is running out from the country, the unhindered supply of natural gas is knocking at the door of our country. Natural gas is in use of domestic consumers which they face load shedding during winter season every year.
Pakistan relies heavily on natural gas for its energy mix. It is estimated that Pakistan uses natural gas for nearly 50 percent of its energy needs. Domestic production, however, has not been able to match the country’s growing demand. The Asian Development Bank has pointed to the 5,000-megawatt gap between demand and supply as one major pressure point limiting economic growth in Pakistan. In order to ensure overall economic development, Pakistan has been considering starting to import LNG from Russia.
Pakistan needs to redesign its energy policy to meet the current challenges. Energy policy requires the proper legislation, international treaties, subsidies and incentives to investment, guidelines for energy conservation, taxation and other public policy techniques. The energy policy of Pakistan is formulated and determined by the federal, provisional, and local institutional entities in Pakistan, which address the issues of energy production, distribution, and consumption of energy, such as gas mileage and petroleum standards. No comprehensive long-term energy strategies have ever been implemented.
The energy policy has depended less on renewable energy sources and dependence on imported oil increased that created a permanent fault in country's energy conservation system. In 2005, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz announced the long-term energy security program which was aimed to the development of the power infrastructure from all energy sources. This program was aimed to raise dependence on imported oil from the Arab countries for power generation to be increased by 50.1% by 2013. After the general elections held in 2008, the mismanagement and weak policies led to an intense repetitive cycle of loadshedding in the country., Prime Minister, Yousaf Gilani announced the "energy policy" on 22 April 2010 against the loadshedding and the growing power shortages in the country.