Trade: (Pakistan must explore Africa for energy security)


ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday asked the government to focus on gas rich Sub-Saharan Africa to ensure dependable energy supplies.

Sub-Saharan Africa is emerging as a new player in the global natural gas markets which cannot be ignored as our national security and economic prosperity is tied to energy, he said in a statement here.

He said Mozambique, Nigeria, Angola and Tanzania will produce about 175 billion cubic metres annually (bcm) of natural gas by 2040 outstripping top gas and LNG suppliers and ending European Union’s dependence on her gas.

He said that China, India, Japan, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and Thailand have reached energy deals with Mozambique, therefore Pakistani government should not miss the opportunity.

He said our policymakers must be aware that LNG imports from a booming Africa can tame energy crisis and significantly diversify energy mix as global oil market remains unpredictable. Pakistan urgently needs a new level of cooperation with Africa where gas production increased from 7 bcm in 1990 to 58 bcm in 2012.

He said US will produce 240 bcm LNG by 2040 but it has refused a deal with Pakistan while getting gas from Russia, which will produce about 130 bcm by 2040, is nearly impossible.

He said we should have a clear priority to reduce our external dependence on costly fuel and focus on cheaper alternatives as gas import from Iran and Turkmenistan remains a pipe dream.

He informed that in the last five years almost 30 percent of global oil discoveries were in sub Saharan Africa meaning that every third barrel of oil in the world was discovered in that continent.

Lauding the Pakistan’s energy LNG policy, he said that Global LNG demand is expected to double by around 2035 therefore many countries are closing deals with the world’s least-developed nations with ample energy.