LNG emerging to be sustainable energy solution for Pakistan
The shale revolution is leading the world to a future of sufficient and affordable oil and gas. The technology of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is increasingly being used to ship gas, produced in cost-competitive regions to those with higher demands. Structural reforms in the power and gas sector along with the rising competition from renewable and alternative fuels are reshaping the global LNG industry. The world will need an increased amount of energy to power their homes and fuel transportation for a growing population with living standards rising by the day. However, to counter the challenge of climate change, energy must come from lower-carbon sources. Most of the energy we use today comes from oil and coal, and more so from natural gases. By 2050 the world’s population is forecasted to grow to 9 billion – which is nearly 2 billion more of us than now. To meet the growing global energy demand and limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, natural gas can be used as a lower-carbon fuel for ships, trucks, buses and trains. This will produce around half the CO2 and just one tenth of the air pollutants of coal when burnt to generate electricity. Asia in recent years has been the focus of industry’s infrastructural investments in LNG trade. Importers show no signs of taking their foot off the gas as Asia continues to dominate the global trade in LNG with over 70% of seaborne cargoes discharged at the region’s terminals. Outlining Pakistan’s plans, the country is evolving its LNG storage and dispensation infrastructure. Pakistan is deficient in energy because of electricity shortfalls, fuel storage issues, and also suffers from fuel import difficulties. Indigenous crude oil meets only 15 percent of the country’s total requirements while 85 percent requirements are met through imported crude oil and refined petroleum products. LNG could possibly become a solution to all these issues. This solution could put Pakistan on the list of countries that are increasingly becoming energy secure along with its neighbor’s China and India. Pakistan is amongst the top 10 LNG importers in the world. Recently, Shell partnered with the government, business leaders, diplomats and academia to share information on energy transition and talked about building a sustainable energy future for Pakistan. The way forward for the sector is to create a favorable environment through policies and enforcement mechanisms. These will help to ensure the trust of private sector, to help them enter the market. With such policies and the safeguarding of interests, the investment in floating, as well as onshore terminals will grow. It will also help ensure the growth in the storage capacity through a greater percentage of investment.