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Exxon Mobil will not be part of a major project to boost liquid natural gas imports (LNG) to Pakistan as the country prepares for yet another winter of energy shortages, according to a report by Reuters.
The project includes a floating storage and regasification unit, and for now is comprised six members, two of which, Total and Mitsubishi, could also quit the project to join a rival scheme of actors at Port Qasim in Karachi to fulfill the needs of the Pakistani public, industry sources said. Exxon’s reasons for quitting were “issues with partners.”
Another anonymous official signaled that the chances of the existing project succeeding stood at just 10-20 percent due to ongoing disagreements.
Estimates for growth in natural gas production show Pakistan rising fivefold by 2022, but technical and monetary restrictions prevent this dream from actuating. China, Iran, Qatar, Turkey, and Norway are all part of Pakistan’s plan to make LNG the face of the country’s economic future.
Pakistan has been plagued with decades of military coups, corruption and civil strife. This is not to say that India – Pakistan’s main regional rival – has not been through similar bouts, but the repetitive and effective nature of such episodes has left a lasting mark on the development of the Islamic Republic in South Asia.
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Liquefied natural gas, which only presents itself after being hyper-cooled in special containers, is 600 times more condensed than when the fuel is in its natural gaseous form. That natural transformation allows LNG to be profitable as it is transported worldwide to the world’s largest LNG consumers. Compared to oil and coal, gas produces a fraction of greenhouse gasses, making it preferable to its fossil fuel siblings, as far as non-renewable energy options go.
The Pakistani government led a campaign to replace car and truck engines with LNG engines for maximum economic benefits back in the 2000s, but recent developments make this reality difficult to achieve. Regional geopolitics, which pit India against Pakistan, are a significant culprit.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…