World News

Gas production declining by 7pc annually

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum Nadeem Babar Friday said gas production in the country was witnessing five to seven percent decrease as the previous government awarded no oil and gas exploration blocks during its five-year tenure.

“Energy is an essential driver of the country’s economy and to achieve accelerated gross domestic product (GDP) growth. The economy needs reliable, uninterrupted and affordable supply of energy for which the government is making all-out efforts,” he said during a meeting with Ambassador of Denmark Rolf Michael.

The envoy mentioned that many Danish manufacturers were interested to invest in wind turbines production in Pakistan. The SAPM said the government would ensure all possible facilities to the interested manufacturers, a Petroleum Division press release said.

Sharing details of upcoming projects of the Petroleum Division. Nadeem Babar said the government was also drafting new Exploration and Production (E&P) by introducing seven major amendments to accelerate exploration activities in potential areas of the country. It would be put before the Federal Cabinet by August, 2019 for approval.

Pakistan has a total 827,000 square kilometers sedimentary area, out of which 361,000 Sq. km is under exploration. Around 1100 exploratory wells have so far been drilled in Pakistan, according to the press release.

Despite low density of wells, Pakistan’s oil and gas discoveries success is very impressive (1: 3.2), the SAPM said, adding the Petroleum Division had identified 40 new E&P blocks.

He said five local refineries, which were basically hydro-skimming, produced only 12 million tons (mt) per annum of Petroleum products against the current demand of over 25 mt per annum.

“The upcoming mega refineries, being established with cooperation of brotherly countries Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, expansion in other refineries and retail chains will help in meeting local demand of petroleum products and their export to regional markets,” he said.

The SAPM said many foreign companies were also interested in laying trans pipelines like Russian consortium, Chinese consortium and local Sui companies. He said the country had two Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals, while some more companies were interested to construct LNG terminals.

He said the government was working to ensure smooth supply chain of petroleum products and accordingly laying oil pipelines in different areas.

The envoy appreciated the steps being taken by the present government to strengthen the country’s oil and gas sector and expressed confidence that there would be greater cooperation in the energy sector between the two countries in future.