Abbasi announces five more oil, gas discoveries: tally reaches 98

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APP35-12 ISLAMABAD: June 12 - Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing a press conference. APP

ISLAMABAD, June 12 (APP): Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday said oil and gas exploration companies had made five new discoveries during last four months, bringing the total number of finds to 98 in last four years.
“All these finds have been made in Sindh province, which will produce
worth $ 150 million oil and gas annually as compared to present prices of the commodities being imported,” he said while addressing a news conference
here.
The discoveries made by oil and gas companies, including OGDCL PPL, MPCL and OMV Pakistan, would produce 70 mmcfd gas and 636 barrels oil per day.
He termed the increased number of discoveries a ‘record’ set by the present government in a short span of four years, which so far added 944 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas in the transmission network across the country.
He said the government was making all-out efforts to further
accelerate oil and gas exploration and production activities in potential areas to achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector.
The minister set aside the impression that article 158 of the
constitution was not being implemented in letter and spirit, saying “In 2010, before the 18th constitutional amendment, SNGPL was getting supply of 1665 mmcfd gas for distribution in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces,
which has reduced to 1120 mmcfd gas after the amendment.”
Answering a question about Sindh Chief Minister’s statement
regarding cut in provincial gas supply, Abbasi said he was ready to hold a
public debate on the issue and reiterated that provinces were getting their due share under the 18th amendment.
Replying to a question, the minister said 1.5 million new gas connections had been issued by the current government so far, and before its tenure completion, the number would reach two million. “It is the hallmark of the government that all gas connections have been issued on merit and turn,” he said.
When the government came into power in 2013, he said there was the backlog of two million applications for gas connections, which the company was now clearing gradually.
To another question, Abbasi said currently 600 mmcfd Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was being imported, which greatly helped in meeting the country’s energy requirements as all gas-based power generation plants were now functioning fully, 1200 CNG stations restarted their operations, industrial and fertilizer sectors getting uninterrupted supply.
Before LNG import, the minister said Pakistan was importing one million ton fertilizer per year and now it was exporting six million tons fertilizer, adding entire power generation sector was getting smooth gas supply, besides Nandipur power plant had also been converted on LNG.
He said LNG import from Qatar would not affect in the prevailing political situation in Gulf, except any ‘Force Majeure’ situation or any international sanction with regard to LNG export for Qatar. “It is not only Pakistan that is importing LNG from Qatar rather our neighbour and nine big economies of the world are the commodity importers.”
Terming LNG the cheapest source of fuel, he said world’s major players were showing interest to invest in LNG sector of Pakistan by setting up their own terminals and developing transmission network to supply the commodity to consumers, adding that the government wanted to involve private sector in this sector. “There will be a good news in next few weeks in this regard,” he said.
When asked to comment on circular debt of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), he said the debt has reached Rs 200 billion, and there was no fear of default.
Commenting on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, the minister
said a few international sanctions on Iran were causing delay in execution of the project. He said as soon as the sanctions were lifted, practical work would be started on the project.
Answering a question, Abbasi said in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa around Rs 7 billion gas was being stolen annually and provincial government was doing nothing for its prevention.