Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday said the Russian side has expressed willingness to collaborate with the Chinese side to achieve early completion of the 1100-kilometer North South pipeline project.

“We would be happy if such collaboration can be achieved,” the minister remarked while talking to a delegation of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Talking to the Chinese delegation, the minister said that the country was currently developing three major projects including Gawadar-Nawabshah pipeline project with help of China, TAPI project, whose groundbreaking was expected next month, and North South pipeline project.

He said Pakistan would welcome to have joint venture on gas pipelines projects with China and the latter could collaborate with regard to North South pipeline project which was being executed as part of agreement between Pakistan and Russia.

It is pertinent to mention here that an intergovernmental agreement for the construction of NorthSouth LNG pipeline was signed last month between Russia and Pakistan. The 1,100 kilometer North South pipeline with a capacity of 12.4bcm per annum will connect Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals located in Karachi with Lahore. The project will be executed by a Russian company RTGlobal Resources a part of Russia State Corporation Rostec.

The minister said that the government was pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to meet the country’s growing energy needs and the relevant policies were advancing attractive incentives for investors to pump in their resources for achieving good benefits, he added.

He said that the government offered good opportunities for investment in energy sector as the country was blessed with abundant natural resources.

Abbasi said in Pakistan success ratio for exploration of hydrocarbon resources was high, thus, the CNPC could inject investment into upstream oil and gas sector, venturing into exploration activities either independently or through joint venture with state owned OGDCL and PPL following concession of blocks to it under government to government arrangements.

“We appreciate the company interest in upstream exploration, investment in petroleum related manufacturing, development of pipeline projects, up-gradation of existing petroleum related infrastructure and technology and petro-chemical area,” he added.

He said there was a lot of potential for investment in all these areas and there was suitable time for the delegation to visit at a time when development projects were taking pace. He also offered for investment offshore sector which he added still was lying unexplored and the CNPC could go into the sector to have good incentives and attractive price for gas, he added.

He said industrial parks would be important projects and could be regional production and supply center. He said this projects would assist the government and people of Pakistan to participate in the development of ‘One Belt, One Road’ project.

Wang Shihong, board member and assistant president of CNPC who is leading the delegation, appreciated the Pakistani government for facilitating and extending its support.

He also briefed about the company’s profile saying it was the fourth largest oil company and was running 91 oil and gas projects in 35 countries. He said the purpose of the visit was to explore mutually beneficial avenues of cooperation in energy sector including oil and gas exploration, production, oil and gas field development, manufacturing steel pipelines, process plants, oil refinery equipment, laying gas pipelines etc.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal said the CNPC, in addition to other areas, could also go into refinery sector of the country which needed to have adequate oil production.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Inter State Gas Company.