A Bloomberg Story:

Pakistan said it saved more than $600 million over the first 10 years of a natural gas supply deal by pitting some of the world’s biggest sellers against each other.

A report from the state’s oil marketing company presented two weeks ago to a senate committee, and reviewed by Bloomberg News, details how the 2016 deal came together with Qatar, the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas. It also sheds a rare light on such high-stakes energy deals, which are almost exclusively settled behind closed doors and stay hidden from public scrutiny.

The maneuvering by Pakistan came after two years of negotiations hit an impasse as Qatar refused to lower its offer price for LNG. So Pakistan sought leverage on the open market in late 2015, publicly seeking 120 cargoes in two large tenders, which brought in bids from suppliers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc. While negotiations with Qatargas Operating Co. were under way, the tender was “issued to fetch maximum number of bidders and best price option,” the presentation said. “The strategy helped bring down prices with Qatargas and saved $610 million.”

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