President seeks Chinese investment

Nation’s domestic sources of fuel being depleted as demand continues to rise.

Express June 18, 2011


As the country’s domestic sources of oil and gas become depleted at an ever-increasing pace, President Asif Ali Zardari asked a visiting delegation of Chinese businessmen to invest the country’s energy sector, particularly in hydrocarbon exploration and development.

The president met with a delegation led by Zhang Hongwei, chairman of the Orient Group, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that recently bought British Petroleum’s assets in Pakistan for $775 million.

Pakistan’s energy crisis was characterised by the president as an “energy emergency”. Even as demand for electricity has continued to rise sharply every year, the nation’s domestic sources of oil and gas continue to dry up. In Sindh, the province that produces most of the nation’s oil and gas, 16 gas fields have been abandoned by the state-owned Oil & Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) after their reserves were depleted.

President Zardari called for the use of new technology to be able to increase the yield of oil and gas from the existing field. Both the world’s leading suppliers of drilling equipment – Schlumberger and Halliburton – have developed ways to substantially increase the production yield from oil and gas fields. Such methods are currently being used by Saudi Aramco at Ghawar, the largest oil field in the world.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2011.


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