News Analysis |
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi praised his government for overcoming challenges and making revolutionary progression in the oil and gas sector and to bring it at par with the international standards.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Abbasi claimed that the PML-N government overcame the monstrous challenges and underwent huge developments in the sector to overcome the energy crises in the country.
He claimed that under PML-N’s tenure, the price of the imported LNG gas decreased to one of the lowest in the world. LNG is the cheapest fuel available in the market and can aptly satisfy the domestic and commercial consumers.
More significantly, as a result of the imported LNG gas, the industry has been revived and the situation has improved drastically.
Moreover, additional imported is also being provided to the domestic consumers.
The PM said that two million new gas connections were provided, through a transparent mechanism, in last the 5-years.
The oil and gas sector has witnessed far more development during PML-N’s tenure compared to any other previous governments, he further added.
One of the long-term achievements is the discovery of new reserves of gas, which are equal to Pakistan’s total consumption of gas in the last tenure. Resultantly, the government holds the same amount of gas reserves which were in store prior to this discovery at the start of PML-N government in 2013, he claimed.
“It is something which has happened for the first time in Pakistan’s history, despite usage, the government was left with the same amount of reserves,” he added.
With this in mind, the government drilled 445 wells in the last 5-years, which is far higher than the 8-10 wells drilled per year by previous governments.
Out of these, 221 were exploratory well which would not have resulted in any loss even if no discovery was made. The government discovered gas in 116 wells, resulting in a 50% success ratio, he asserted.
These remarkable discoveries added 35,000 barrel of oil and 900 million cubic feet of gas to the system.
The conversion of gas to power generation is saving billions of dollars and the conversion from furnace oil to gas-fired power plants have revolutionized the industry.
According to the PM, when PML-N took over, Pakistan was importing one million tons of fertilizer and last year, due to the availability of gas, Pakistan exported 600,000 tons of fertilizer.
The PML-N government supplied the most cost-effective and efficient supply of gas across the country. It was the effort of his government which caused some of the most reputed companies in the world to learn towards investing billions of dollars in the LNG Sector.
The transmission was one of the fault lines in the system. The government laid down a transmission line of 17,000 km of 42-inch diameter at a cost of Rs 200 billion. Moreover, a record 25,000 km of distribution pipelines were also laid in PML-N’s tenure, which is a remarkable achievement.
The PM said that the LPG production was doubled, the inefficient quota system was abolished and only one quota was granted through a transparent bidding process in the last tenure.
The Prime Minister said the quality of diesel and petrol imported into the country was one of the worst in the world. It only served the vested interests of a selected few, which compromised the environment of the whole country. The PML-N government introduced the best quality diesel and petrol in the country and that too, at a lower cost. Moreover, it has no such disastrous impact on the environment of the country.
The PM lamented the use of furnace oil in the country. Pakistan was the second biggest user of furnace oil in 2013. Had our government not taken initiative, Pakistan would have become the number one user of this adversely affecting oil. The government has not imported furnace oil in the last eight months and the import of this oil will be completely shunned by the end of 2019.
In regard to this, the government is looking to build two new oil refineries of world-class standards.
Further, work on increasing the capacity of the existing refinery from 50,000 to 1, 00,000 barrels is ongoing in Karachi.
PARCO coastal refinery will also be completed in three years at the cost of $5 billion, which is the biggest project in the history of the country after Engro’s plant of $1.2 billion.
The government will set up a second mid-country refinery in Lahore at the cost of $5 to $7 billion, which will have the capacity of three hundred thousand barrels of oil, said the enthusiastic Abbasi.
He was asked to respond to allegations of corruption in awarding the LNG contracts, to which he replied, his personal wealth has decreased since he came into politics 30-years ago.
Under the CPEC initiative, the government made efforts to solve the ongoing crises through gas imports which were needed to meet the growing demands and help the ailing economy to expand considerably in the future.