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$10bn foreign investment in petroleum sector


ISLAMABAD: The petroleum sector attracted over $10 billion foreign investment despite low oil price scenario in international market during the last four years.

“Besides, world’s major players are showing interest to invest in LNG sector of Pakistan after seeing immense business potential of the commodity here,” official sources told APP.

Sources said international companies were aspiring to set up their own terminals and develop transmission networks to supply the commodity to consumers, adding, “There will be good news in the coming weeks in this regard.”

The officials said PGNiG, a Polish company, has planned to step up its exploration and production (E&P) activities and take the business volume to Rs100bn per year.

“The company has the intention to take its production to $100 million per year in the coming days,” they said.

Besides, the company is considering to set- up its LNG trading office in Pakistan.

Currently, the sources said, 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) LNG was being imported from Qatar, which greatly helped in meeting the country’s energy requirements as all gas-based power generation plants are now functioning fully; 1,200 CNG stations have restarted their operations and industrial and fertiliser sectors are getting uninterrupted supply.

Before LNG import, Pakistan was importing 1m tonnes of fertiliser per year and now it was exporting 6m tonnes of fertiliser, adding entire power generation sector was getting smooth gas supply, besides Nandipur power plant had also been converted on LNG, the sources said.

Answering a question, the sources said that Pakistan was already negotiating LNG import deals with countries including China, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia and Oman, adding “Pakistan will strike LNG deals with potential exporters”.

Rs4.7bn recovered from E&P companies: Meanwhile, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has recovered outstanding payments amounting to Rs4.7bn from different oil and gas exploration and production companies on account of production bonus, social welfare funds and marine research fee during the last four years.

In a bid to restore confidence of locals in exploration activities, the ministry recovered a Rs1,639.23m production bonus, Rs1,988.25m social welfare funds and Rs1,100.51m marine research fee from the E&P companies, official sources told APP.

“An amount of Rs4,727.99m has been recovered and deposited in accounts of concerned DCOs of oil and gas producing districts for carrying out welfare schemes for locals,” they said.

Facilities like health, education, water supply, improved drainage and sewerage system are provided to locals in oil and gas producing Tehsils and Districts across the country, the sources said.

The ministry has also recently revised the social welfare guidelines, under which welfare schemes would be based on the requirement of areas and identified by concerned MNAs of districts in consultation with representatives of local bodies or local administration.

They informed that E&P companies would open a joint bank account with the concerned District Coordination Officers (DCOs) and Deputy Comm­issioners (DCs) and deposit the social welfare contribution fund within one month of signing a Petroleum Concession Agree­ment (PCA) and subsequently by January 31 every year.

“DCOs/DCs and E&P companies will sign cheques within a week after receiving complete requisitions from the concerned agency,” they said, adding that MNAs and concerned authorities would get input of the locals in welfare schemes, make publicity of development projects and ensure their timely completion besides holding public hearings in project areas.

They said the companies would provide audit certificate annually from their statutory auditors that the due amount of social welfare obligation had been discharged by transferring to the joint account as per their PCA and social welfare guidelines.

Sources said the provincial governments would send a report regarding completed schemes to the federal and provincial ombudsmen and Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court twice a year by the end of July and January.

On completion of works, a prescribed ‘completion certificate’ would be issued by the concerned DCOs/DCs within 30 days, while annual progress report of the previous calendar would be forwarded to the ministry by March 31.