Govt efforts to lure foreign investors in O&G sector praised

General Islamabad

Islamabad: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Tuesday suggested steps to hasten extraction from Zin gas field awaiting exploitation since sixteen years.

Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL) is yet to start the process of fast and efficient extraction from Zin Block which is key to energy security of Pakistan, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI.

Speaking to business community, she said that OGDCL, the largest exploration and production company country, can ensure smooth operations at Zin entering into joint venture agreements with other companies in the national interest.

Farida Rashid said that the top brass of the OGDCL, the licensee company, can consider joining hands with Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and some foreign investors to relieve country of energy crisis.

PPL is the pioneer of the natural gas industry in the country; it is frontline player in the energy sector since the mid-1950s which contributes around 26 per cent of the country’s total natural gas supplies, she said.

PPL is currently operating six producing fields including Sui which is Pakistan’s largest and oldest gas field, Adhi, Kandhkot, Chachar, Mazarani and Hala and holds working interest in thirteen partner-operated producing fields, including Qadirpur, the country’s second largest, she informed.

Farida Rashid said that PPL, which is also working in Iraq and Yemen, has been operating in the troubled area of Dera Bugti since 1952.

The company has links with chieftains in the troubled south-western province of Balochistan which can guarantee unhindered drilling operations to extract gas from Zin Block.

According to estimates, domestic gas production is expected to fall from the current 4 billion cubic feet per day to 2 billion cfd by 2020 while demand is expected to soar to 8 billion cfd by that time creating a shortfall of 6 billion cfd.

Pakistan will face a shortfall of 2 billion cfd per day by 2010 if all the projects including pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan and gas import terminals are completed on time.

Therefore, authorities should try to exploit a field which according to petroleum geologists has double gas than Sui, demanded Farida Rashid.

Lauding the move of the government to lure foreign investors in oil and gas sector, she said that she has written a letter to Dr. Asim, adviser to the prime minister on petroleum asking him to take a decision without wasting time to revive limping economy and ensure rapid national development.