Pakistan's Insatiable Appetite For Energy
|Pakistan Oil Consumption in Barrels Per Day. Source: CEIC.com|
Oil consumption in Pakistan has shot up about 50% from 400,000 barrels per day in 2012 to nearly 600,000 barrels per day in 2017. During the same period, Pakistan's gas consumption has risen from 3.5 billion cubic feet per day to nearly 4 billion cubic feet per day, according to British Petroleum data.
Pakistan is among the fastest growing LNG markets, according to Shell 2017 LNG report. The country has suffered a crippling energy shortage in recent years as demand has risen sharply to over 6 billion cubic feet per day, far outstripping the domestic production of about 4 billion cubic feet per day. Recent LNG imports are beginning to make a dent in Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis and helping to boost economic growth. Current global oversupply and low LNG prices are helping customers get better terms on contracts.
|Pakistan Gas Consumption in Billions of Cubic Feet Per Day. Source: CEIC.com|
Every modern, industrial society in history has gone through a 20-year period where there were extremely large investments in the energy sector, and availability of ample electricity made the transition from a privilege of an urban elite to something every family would have. It seems that Pakistan is beginning to recognize it. If Pakistan wishes to join the industrialized world, it will have to continue to do this by having a comprehensive energy policy and making large investments in the power sector. Failure to do so would condemn Pakistanis to a life of poverty and backwardness.
Pakistan is heavily dependent on energy imports to drive its economy. These energy imports put severe strain on the country's balance of payments and forces it to repeatedly seek IMF bailouts.
Pakistan needs to develop export orientation for its economy and invest more in its export-oriented industries to earn the hard currencies it needs for essential imports including oil and gas. At the same time, Pakistan is stepping up its domestic oil and gas exploration efforts. American energy giant Exxon-Mobil has joined the offshore oil and gas exploration efforts started by Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Italian energy giant ENI.
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