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Pakistan goes all-in for energy security

Dec. 28, 2011 at 7:32 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Pakistan has a multifaceted strategy to address growing energy shortages, including quick action on a pipeline from Iran, a government agency said.

Pakistani natural gas supplies fell 33 percent compared with last year. Rolling blackouts are common and the government has worked with consumers to limit consumption. Islamabad last week said it would ration natural gas to cope with the deficit.

The Pakistani Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said it had a series of measures it could take to address the shortages.

"The government is implementing a multi-pronged strategy, which includes several measures such as timely completion of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project to meet the growing energy deficit and, in particular, shortages in gas supplies, which constitute nearly 50 percent of the energy mix of the country," the ministry was quoted by Pakistan's News International as saying.

An economic steering committee, meanwhile, said Pakistan remained committed to a rival pipeline, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India project.

Pakistan gets about 30 percent of its energy needs from imports, mostly from oil. The volatile commodity market is putting additional strain on the country's energy sector, officials said.

Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain said conservation of natural resources is essential for energy security.

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