Friday, May 24, 2013
Last Updated: 24 May 07:29 AM IST
7 November 2012
Press Trust of India
ISLAMABAD, 7 NOV: A proposed plan to import LNG from Qatar to Pakistan via India will be discussed during President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to Doha, according to a media report today.
Mr Zardari left for a two-day visit to Qatar yesterday.
Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar told the Dawn newspaper that Mr Zardari was expected to “finalise trans-national formalities for importing LNG as soon as possible”.
A senior unnamed official of the ministry of petroleum said that besides importing LNG from Qatar through a terminal in India, there was a proposal to import LNG directly from India through a 60-km pipeline to be laid to the Wagah land border.
The President is accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Prime Minister's Adviser on Petroleum Asim Hussain.
This is Mr Zardari's first official visit to Qatar at the invitation of the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
Mr Hussain had informed the National Assembly or lower house of parliament in March that Pakistan planned to import 500 mmcfd of LNG from Qatar to meet its energy requirements.
He said the price of LNG was yet to be decided by the two countries but expressed the hope that the supply would start within 18 months.
In February, Pakistan and Qatar signed a Memorandum of Understanding for importing 3.5 million tons of LNG during a visit to Doha by former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.
According to media reports, Qatar has authorised US energy giant ConocoPhillips to finalise the LNG deal with Pakistan.
Pakistan exported goods worth USD 95 million and imported goods worth USD 302 million to Qatar in 2011-12.
Islamabad is also keen on exporting manpower as Doha requires an estimated two million workforce to develop infrastructure after it won the bid to host the Football World Cup 2022.
Pakistan's labour ministry has held a meeting with its Qatari counterpart and so far 4,000 Pakistani labourers have been sent to Qatar in the past few months.