ISLAMABAD - The PML-N government on Wednesday made a shocking revelation that the present reserves of natural gas in Pakistan will last not more than 16 years.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, made this revelation in a written reply during the National Assembly (NA) question-hour.

Replying to a question posed by a PML-N lawmaker Sheikh Rohail Asghar, abbasi informed that further exploration of gas resources are also being made in the country. “Besides 133 active exploration licenses, the government has recently signed ELS and petroleum concession agreements with over 20 blocks with OGDCL, PPL and MPCL for further exploration of oil and gas in the country,” he said, adding that ELs and PCAs for another 30 blocks with different companies will also be signed shortly. To another question, the minister said the gap between demand and supply of gas is increasing day by day due to depleting gas fields and increasing demand. The government is taking various steps to overcome the shortage of natural gas, which will help overcome the shortfall during subsequent years.