Govt to enhance indigenous production of petroleum products: Musadik Malik

ISLAMABAD   -   Minister for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik has said that the government will enhance the indigenous production of petroleum products, including gas and crude oil.

Addressing an energy symposium the other day, he said that the government has put blocks for bidding and is actively trying to attract global players in exploration activities. He said that Pakistan is open for business and committed to completely digitizing the regulatory process to increase transparency. Malik highlighted the importance of the TAPI gas pipeline project, which he said would provide cheaper gas.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring an uninterrupted and affordable energy supply, recognizing it as a top priority. He said that Pakistan currently spends over $18 billion annually on energy imports.

The minister reassured attendees that the government is expediting oil and gas exploration within the country and welcomes foreign companies to invest in this sector. He said that investment processes and information regarding oil and gas exploration have been digitized and simplified to facilitate this.

To reduce electricity tariffs, the government is working on various proposals, he said. By supplying local gas to efficient power plants, the cost of electricity could be reduced to Rs 12 per unit, compared to Rs 24 per unit when using LNG. He acknowledged the high theft and losses in the gas sector, particularly in Balochistan, where gas losses have increased in Sui-Southern. To combat urban gas theft, modern systems, including comprehensive monitoring of the gas network using technology, are being implemented.

He advocated for increased utilization of Pakistan’s abundant renewable energy resources, especially as the country’s solar energy costs have significantly decreased.

He said that multiple policies have been formulated to boost local production after a long period. Regarding the TAPI framework, he said that project financing would be jointly provided by Pakistan and Turkmenistan.

He highlighted Turkmenistan’s vast gas reserves and limited market, primarily China, and proposed that European countries purchase LNG from Turkmenistan to enhance their energy security. He said that Pakistan has proposed to European countries the idea of purchasing LNG from Turkmenistan, which would provide energy security to Europe. He explained that a gas pipeline will come from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, and gas will then be supplied to Europe via a train. He said that a policy for shale gas and tight gas had been finalized.

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