ISLAMABAD: About 350 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of discovered gas has remained unutilised for over seven years due to litigation, said President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Zahid Maqbool.
Despite the fact that Pakistan badly needs to exploit this gas for improving energy supplies, the discovered gas in Kunnar, Pasaki, Tando Allah Yar and Sinjhoro fields is untouched, he said. Chairing a meeting of energy and petroleum sector entrepreneurs on Wednesday, Maqbool urged the government to take urgent measures for settling litigation issues of gas exploration companies. “Resolving their issues will bring new investments in the oil and gas sector,” he said.
He pointed out that Pakistan had spent $9.5 billion on the import of 10.6 million tons of petroleum products and 7.8 million tons of crude oil in the last financial year, which heavily impacted the foreign exchange reserves. He said that according to some studies, Pakistan has 62.26 trillion cubic feet of unexplored gas reserves and 3.5 billion barrels of unexplored oil reserves. He called upon the government to give high priority to investments in the oil and gas sector to explore and exploit these natural resources for the benefit of the country.
Maqbool said that in view of the current energy crisis, which is badly crippling businesses and industries, the government should approach the superior court for early settlement of litigation issues so that discovered gas could be brought into the mainstream on a fast track basis. The entrepreneurs said that another field known as Mehar, operated by a Malaysian company Petronas, can bring in at least 30-50 mmcfd of gas into the mainstream system.
However, this gas is also lying unutilised due to security reasons. They urged the government to improve security in the area so that the discovered gas could be used for power production.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 27th, 2010.
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