$234.8 mln FDI arrived in oil, gas sector

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ISLAMABAD, June 2 (APP): Pakistan received $234.8 million foreign direct investment (FDI) in the oil and gas exploration sector during 10 months of the current fiscal year, which is 2 percent higher than the last year.
“During July-April FY 2015-16, foreign direct investment in oil and gas exploration remained US $ 234.8 million as compared to US $ 230.1 million in the corresponding period last year thus posting a growth of 2 percent,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar unveiled the figures in the Economic Survey of Pakistan released here Thursday.
The survey maintained that Pakistan was also pursuing a robust policy to enhance domestic gas production to meet the ever-increasing demand of energy in the country.
Recounting achievements of the government in the petroleum sector, the minister said, one of the milestone was import of Re-gassified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) at the cheapest rate.
During July to February, 2016, as many as 175 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) RLNG was imported, which significantly improved supply to natural gas consumers.
The government is taking all possible measures to ensure energy security and sustainable development in the country. Efforts are underway to improve power sector fuel mix in the country to reduce price of power basket and improve financial viability.
Under the reforms, the survey said, large capacity addition is planned from wind, solar, nuclear, hydel and coal power projects in the medium term.
The emphasis is towards achieving a less oil dependent power generation mix through development of indigenous energy resources particularly hydel, coal and renewable energy resources for sustainable and affordable energy supply in the country.
In pursuit to its exploration led growth strategy, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) drilled 16 wells, and completed drilling and testing of 9 wells spud in the previous fiscal year have been completed during the period under discussion.
In order to exploit unconventional oil and gas resources, first phase of the study to evaluate shale gas and oil, tight gas and oil potential was carried out by an international consultant at the OGDCL operated blocks has been completed while second and third phase of the study is underway.
During the period, the gas utility companies have invested Rs 9,959 million on transmission projects, Rs 8,705 million on distribution projects and Rs 13,225 million on other projects bringing total investment to about Rs 31,919 million.
Besides, they provided 254,870 additional gas connections including 254,648 domestic, 202 commercial and 20 industrial across the country.
“It is expected that gas will be supplied to approximately 412,058 new consumers during FY 2017. Gas utility companies have planned to invest Rs 13,896 million on transmission projects, Rs 32,739 million on distribution projects and Rs 24,408 million on other projects bringing the total investment of Rs 71,043 million during FY 2017,” the survey said.
The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector will receive an estimated investment of Rs 22.33 billion.
During the FY 2016, OGRA has so far issued 12 licences for Operational Marketing of Storage and Filling plants, 37 licences for Construction of LPG Storage and Filling plants, 20 licences for Construction of LPG Auto-Refueling Stations and one licence for Storage and Refueling of LPG was issued.
It is expected that the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations of Punjab, which are closed due to gas supply constraints, would start routine operation in near future through supply of RLNG.