USD 5bn investment pledged for oil, gas exploration in Pakistan: Sharif

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Islamabad, Jul 7 (PTI) Pakistan is expected to get an investment of USD 5 billion over the next three years from local and international firms for the exploration and development of petroleum and gas reserves that will save the cash-strapped country's valuable foreign exchange and provide relief to the common man bearing the brunt of high fuel prices.

The announcement was made in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday during a meeting with a delegation of oil and gas exploration and production sector companies.

According to the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan, the meeting was informed that during three years, around 240 places would be excavated with an investment of USD 5 billion to explore petroleum and gas in Pakistan.

The meeting was informed that currently, Pakistan’s domestic production stood at 70,998 barrels and 3,131 MMSCFD (million standard cubic feet) gas per day.

The prime minister invited petroleum and gas exploration and production companies to also find offshore reserves.

“Exploring the oil and gas reserves at the local level in Pakistan is our top priority,” Prime Minister Sharif said, adding that Pakistan spent billions of dollars every year on importing oil and gas.

“Production from local reserves will save Pakistan’s valuable foreign exchange and fuel and gas will become affordable for the common man,” he added and directed the concerned authorities to provide solutions to all the problems of the sector on a priority basis.

Currently, the price of petrol in Pakistan is Rs. 265.61/Ltr, high-speed diesel is Rs. 277.45/Ltr and light-speed diesel is Rs 166.86/Ltr.

The prime minister constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar that would include experts, secretaries and the relevant authorities.

The committee, after consultation with the representatives of the sector, would formulate proposals to create an attractive policy for the exploration and development of petroleum and gas reserves in Pakistan.

Sharif directed the relevant authorities to solve all the problems of the sector and submit policy proposals to the constituted committee on priority.

The delegation thanked the prime minister for making the petroleum and gas exploration and production sector a part of the consultation process, listening to their problems and finding serious solutions to them. PTI SH NSA NSA

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