During his address to the conference titled “Reliable Transit of Energy and its Role in Stable Economic Development and International Cooperation”, in Ashghabat he said that the Gwadar port can open immense opportunities for the import and export of petroleum and other products which will bring prosperity and the land locked countries,by opening the world markets to them.
He said that “Pakistan is willing to offer opportunities and transit facilities for the import of goods and products,at internationally competitive terms.”
Dr Asim said Pakistan’s historical relations with Turkmenistan are not new as Pakistan was one of the first countries to extend diplomatic recognition to Turkmenistan as an independent state in December 1991.
H said that Pakistan and Turkmenistan share a lot of common history,and have similar culture,traditions and values.
“The bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries in various affairs of the state speak of the trust and confidence we repose in each other”,he added.He hoped that this relationship can turn into a fruitful partnership in the future with mutual benefit to each other and thus help to the world mutually.
Dr Asim Hussain said that Pakistan is a country of about 166 million people,and has witnessed rapid economic growth in the recent years with the GDP growth averaging 6.5 per cent per annum in the last five years.
During 2008,Pakistan’s primary energy demand stood at 62.9 million tons of oil equivalent MMTOE which has grown at an annual compound rate of 6 per cent per annum during the past five years.
He said that during 20008 Pakistan produced nearly 41 billion cubic meters of natural gas,which has grown at annual compound rate of 7.7 pc over the past five years.
He said that at present the country’s natural gas consumption is met by indigenous sources only but it caters upto 50 pc of our total requirement.
To meet this shortfall,gas import projects both liquified and piped are planned and in various stages of development,he added.HE said that Pakistan has developed a vast gas transmission network of nearly 10,000 km which is ideally suited to economically transport large volumes of local and imported natural gas to load centers.
He said that Pakistan’s natural gas demand is rising rapidly and it is expected that it will increase to around 129 BCM per year by 2025,thus offering a huge market to potential gas suppliers including LNG.
Dr Asim said that Pakistan was strategically located south east of Turkmenistan,providing the shortest possible route to the high consumption energy markets in Pakistan and India.
He said that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI),Gas pipeline project provides an excellent commercial link on top of the historical links that already exist among the regional states.The project envisages the construction of a 33 BCM per year pipeline,traversing through Afghanistan to reach Pakistan and onwards to India.The ADB has conducted a feasibility study,and found the project to be commercially and economically viable.
He said that recently there have been some useful discussions on commercial terms,paying the way for conclusion of agreements.With he recent discovery of huge gas reserves in Turkmenistan,it is expected that the issue of availability and dedication of exploitable gas reserves for the project would also be sorted out,and the project will become a reality in the foreseeable future.
He further said that Pakistan has recently issued its petroleum Exploration and Production Policy which is investor-centric and offers opportunities to investors in exploration and production sector.