ISLAMABAD Sept 7 (APP): Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday informed the National Assembly the country has received an investment of Rs 1.6 trillion in oil and gas exploration sector during a short span of time.
During the question-answer session, he said a total of 82 oil gas discoveries have been made during last three fiscal years.
He said that the production from 45, out of 82 discoveries had already been started, whereas, necessary work over 37 discoveries is being carried out by Exploration and Production companies to start production.
The minister said that around 46 percent drilling has increased while around 36 percent increase witnessed in 2D and 3D explorations. He said the ban on commercial gas connections will be lifted soon after the arrival of more gas in the system.
Currently, Abbasi said that no load-shedding of gas was observed in any part of the country.
He said that despite decrease in the prices of petroleum products at the international level, Pakistan is expected to receive investment in the oil and gas sector which will help explore the indigenous resources of the country.
He said the local production of crude oil has surged to one hundred thousand barrels per day which meets 15 percent requirements of the country.
He said that exploration activities have expedited especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which led to some important discoveries.
He said the government is encouraging the investors to establish new refineries in the country. The minister said that two refineries will be established in the country soon.
He said the establishment of refineries in Balochistan and Karachi will help reduce import bill of refined products.
The Minister said there is no ban on the domestic gas connections. He said the matter of gas shortage has been overcome to a great extent and today the consumers are being provided uninterrupted supply of gas.
He said a comprehensive strategy is being devised in consultation with gas utility companies to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to domestic and commercial sectors during the coming winter season.
He said with the injection of gas from new discoveries and establishment of second LNG terminal, the situation of gas demand and supply would be in a better position for winter of 2017-18.
The minister said 46 new blocks have been awarded under Petroleum Policy 2012 to expedite exploration activities, while clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 new exploration blocks to E&P Companies through bidding process.
He said that the producer gas price under Petroleum Policy 2012 has been increased from 31 percent to 68 percent for different zones.
He said for new exploration efforts in old blocks, supplemental agreements have been signed for conversion to 2012 Petroleum Policy’s price.
The Bonanza of US$ per MMBTU has been introduced for first three discoveries in Offshore area, he added.
The minister said windfall levy has been reduced from 50 to 40 percent while lease can be extended for another five years after its expiry subject to payment of an amount of 15 percent of well head value.
He expressed the hope that exploration and production activities under Policy 2012 are anticipated to bring new oil and gas discoveries which will reduce import bill of crude oil.