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Oil and Gas Exploration

$5 Billion Investment Announced for Pakistan’s Oil and Gas Exploration

Islamabad, July 07, 2024, The Europe Today: Local and international firms operating in Pakistan’s oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) sector have pledged an investment of $5 billion over the next three years. The announcement was made during a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the PM House on Saturday.

A representative delegation from these companies informed the meeting that the substantial investment would facilitate the drilling of approximately 240 sites across Pakistan to explore petroleum and gas reserves.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established a committee led by Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, comprising experts, secretaries, and relevant authorities. This committee will consult with industry representatives to formulate policies that will attract further exploration and development in the petroleum and gas sector. The Prime Minister also directed relevant authorities to promptly address the sector’s challenges and submit policy proposals to the newly formed committee.

Currently, Pakistan’s domestic production stands at 70,998 barrels of petroleum products and 3,131 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas. The Prime Minister also urged petroleum and gas companies to explore offshore reserves.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Jamil Ahmed assured the meeting that, following the Prime Minister’s directives, all remittances had been sent to the respective countries of the oil and gas production companies.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif acknowledged public concerns over rising electricity prices and pledged to provide relief to those consuming 200 or 300 units per month, similar to the support given to 100-unit consumers. He indicated that discussions with independent power producers (IPPs) are ongoing, with positive outcomes anticipated.

Regarding national security, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of operation ‘Azm-e-Istehkam’ for peace and stability, announcing that Tehreek-e-Insaf has agreed to participate in the upcoming all-parties conference on the issue. This conference aims to unite all national parties to propose solutions and end terrorism in the country.

In foreign relations, PM Shehbaz Sharif revealed a productive discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressing hope for an increased oil import from Russia and a potential visit by President Putin to Pakistan. He also addressed the situation in Gaza and reiterated Pakistan’s consistent policy on Kashmir atrocities.

PM Shehbaz Sharif ordered strict action against officers and personnel who charge excess units in electricity bills, directing the Power Division to suspend and investigate these individuals through the FIA.

In a meeting on power sector reforms and solarization, the Prime Minister called for the closure of dysfunctional and expensive government-run power units. He also reviewed the implementation of agreements and MoUs signed between Pakistan and China, highlighting potential investments from Chinese shoe-manufacturing companies and agricultural firms.

Additionally, PM Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the importance of sending 1,000 Pakistani students to China on government scholarships for agricultural training, prioritizing students from Balochistan. He directed Wapda authorities to ensure fool-proof security for Chinese nationals working on Dasu and Diamer Bhasha dams and urged for accelerated negotiations with Chinese companies for the relocation of solar panel manufacturing units to Pakistan.

This significant investment in Pakistan’s E&P sector marks a pivotal step towards bolstering the country’s economic and energy landscape.