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Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s PM, warns of an increase in electricity load shedding during July

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharmaf warned Monday of an increase in electricity loadshedding after Pakistan failed to sign a contract for natural gas supply next month.
Geo News reported that PM Shehbaz stated that Pakistan cannot get LNG supply, but the coalition government is working to make it possible.
Pakistan is experiencing an increase in its power crisis. Refinitiv data shows that Pakistan’s monthly oil imports will reach a four-year high in June. This is due to Pakistan’s inability to purchase liquefied natural gases (LNG) to power its heatwave.
Pakistan had reduced fuel oil imports from the second half 2018. However, because LNG prices were very low, it had at times to switch back to oil. This was due to skyrocketing LNG prices.
Tenders for July were cancelled because of high prices and low participation. The nation is already taking measures to address widespread blackouts.
This is the third consecutive month in which Pakistan has failed to submit an LNG tender for July. The country’s inability of purchasing fuel could lead to more electricity shortages.
After receiving an offer for the highest-priced shipment of LNG to Pakistan, the State-owned Pakistan LNG Ltd had to cancel its July purchase tender, Geo News reports.
Pakistan’s government has reduced working hours and ordered shops to close early in many cities including Karachi.
Two long-term supply agreements with Qatar have been signed by Pakistan — one for five cargoes per month in 2016, and another for 2021. Pakistan currently receives three monthly shipments. However, the country is still suffering from widespread power outrages because it cannot obtain chilled fuel due to increasing dependence on LNG for electricity generation.
Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik was in Doha this week to meet with the Qatari Minister for Energy Affairs. Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar Energy chief executive, confirmed talks. However, he said that talks were ongoing and that the government was looking at different supply and pricing strategies.
Ismail stated that the government is also in talks with Qatar over a new 5- or 10-year LNG supply agreement for three monthly cargoes and an additional cargo under an existing deal.
The rapid decline in foreign exchange reserves was caused by Pakistan’s inflation and twin deficits. There were also a shortage of foreign currency flows.
Inflation in Pakistan reached the double-digit mark during July, marking the largest increase in inflation in almost six years.

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