Pakistan has invited bids for six cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the international market to counter the potentially crippling gas shortage in the winter season.
The demand for gas surges in December and January every year. However, this season, the gap between demand and supply could widen owing to higher consumption and depreciating indigenous supply.
A source in Pakistan LNG Ltd. (PLL), responsible for LNG imports, has told an international news agency that six spot cargoes, deliverable by December, are the most in a single month by the country.
The company has advertised the tender for six cargoes, each of 140,000 cubic meters. Interested bidders can submit their proposals by November 2.
Pakistan has long-term LNG agreements in place, especially the one with Qatar, but has been active on the spot market since August due to an increase in demand. Previously, the country has issued tenders seeking two cargo deliveries in August, three in September, two in October, and three in November.
During a press talk last week, the State Minister for Petroleum, Nadeem Babar, said that country is headed towards a major gas shortfall in December and January, and blamed diminishing indigenous gas supply and rising demand.
He blamed the lack of local exploration for the shortfall, saying that the previous governments did not issue exploration licenses.
He noted that the discoveries made during the recent years were small and could not bridge the supply gap, adding that more exploration licenses will be advertised this month.
According to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) statistics, the power sector remained the largest consumer of gas, which consumed 38%, while the domestic sector was at 22% and fertilizer 16%.