ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has stressed that Pakistan has become a growing energy market and voiced hope that foreign companies will capitalise on the opportunities for investment partnerships in the country.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the two-day Annual Technical Conference on Oil and Gas on Thursday, the premier said the government had diversified the energy mix by adding Thar coal, liquefied natural gas and renewable energy in a bid to tackle the prevailing outages.
He highlighted that Pakistan had achieved a higher 5.3% economic growth in 2016-17, which increased energy demand, and the government was taking several steps to overcome the challenge.
Saying that the country had made around 100 hydrocarbon discoveries in the past four and a half years, he called it a big milestone in the energy sector of Pakistan. Still, “a lot has to be done to meet energy needs to achieve the growth targets,” he said.
Abbasi expressed the hope that the conference would help participating companies to explore opportunities and cope with challenges in hydrocarbon exploration and production in Pakistan.
“Pakistan has become a growing energy market due to attractive policies of the government and the world has acknowledged this,” he remarked. The premier emphasised that Pakistan was looking forward to greater efforts in the exploration and production sector as more discoveries would reduce imports of the country.
He also visited the pavilions set up by the exhibitors to showcase their products as well as their achievements.
Conference Chairman Syed Wamiq Bukhari said the gathering had become a historic event with a record number of participants, including 20 first-time participants. Of these, two-thirds of the companies were multinational.
Praising government efforts to import LNG, he said the country was required to explore all avenues of energy supply.
He was of the view that almost 90% of the country’s area had not yet been tapped, which required more efforts to explore opportunities in shale gas and other resources. The conference was organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Pakistan Association of Petroleum Geoscientists and attended by exploration and production companies, service companies, regulatory authorities and the academia.
As many as 35 exhibitors and 1,500 domestic and foreign oil and gas experts took part in the conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2017.