ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved technical assistance for Pakistan to undertake a master study to assess potential gas storage infrastructure development sites.

The study will identify cost, modality, geology and location proximity to transmission networks and load centres, market parameters, ownership, and operation and maintenance among other factors.

The ADB will administer the technical assistance through the energy division of its Central and West Asia Department in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division).

The technical assistance will build on the outcomes of two earlier technical assistance projects for the improvement of gas infrastructure in Pakistan to strengthen regional energy trade 2005 and an overview of the gas storage environment and framework in Pakistan in 2019. Both projects recommended diversifying supplies and developing strategic reserves to reduce prices and balance the supply-demand framework.

The technical assistance will benefit from multiple pre-feasibility studies prepared by the regulator and the ministry of energy on gas supply and demand scenarios, the dynamics of Pakistan’s future energy requirements, progressing gas import projects, and techno-economic considerations. It will also obtain input from a 2021 technical study for underground storage covering reservoir aspects, injection and extraction facilities, interconnection, and cost estimates.

The study would recommend ranking of at least two underground and two over-ground gas storage facilities by December 2023. Legal framework will be developed, linking upstream, midstream, and downstream infrastructure parameters by December 2023. Similarly, the draft policy framework, including private sector participation, developed and approved by the Cabinet Committee on Energy by December 2023.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2022

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