ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources has sought help from Baloch tribal elders and politicians to do away with the security concerns of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) to carry out oil and gas exploration and production activities in the area to meet the energy needs of the country. The committee met here on Thursday at the OGDCL head office under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Dilawar Abbas to discuss the exploration and drilling activities with special reference to the province of Balochistan and the performance of the OGDCL during the last five years. It noted that Balochistan had great potential for oil and gas reserves and called for making a conducive environment to carry out exploration activities in an appropriate manner and suggested that parliamentarians and tribal elders should play their due role in facilitating the OGDCL in exploration activities. The committee underlined the need for intensifying efforts to explore new reserves of oil and gas to meet the growing demand and bridge over the supply and demand gap to protect the common man from the impact of unprecedented hike in the prices of petroleum products. It was pointed out that surging oil prices had far greater consequences for developing countries like Pakistan than the developed ones. Members of the committee were of the view that there was a dire need to intensify search for new reserves as the previous ones had been depleting at a fast pace. They recommended that the OGDCL should also go for offshore ventures, as there was huge potential in that area to meet the future demands of the country. It also constituted a sub committee, which will comprise senators from Balochistan with a view to remove the bottle necks in the way and address the security concerns. Senator Dilawar Abbas opined that world was energy hungry and Pakistan should strive to enhance the reserves by working on both the offshore and onshore exploration activities. The committee observed that quota reserved in recruitment for Balochistan should be implemented strictly and trainees must be selected from that area where the discoveries were being made. Earlier, Chairman OGDCL informed the committee about the steps taken to improve the working and performance of the OGDCL and the new discoveries of the oil and gas made during last few years. He said that all-out efforts were being made with a strong vision and passion to enhance the energy security of the country and go beyond geographical boundaries for exploration and production opportunities. He said that agreements had been signed with international firms to further increase technical prowess in the onshore exploration and production as well as to a more challenging area of the offshore exploration. He stated that OGDCL was contributing 42 per cent of the total production of gas from Balochistan province. He apprised the members of the various reasons for halt in the exploration activities in the province of Balochistan and said that due to non-clearance of the security from the government of Balochistan, new activities could not be launched. He said that an aggressive exploration program had been chalked out and focus was on to replicate international best practices and innovative thinking. Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology (Education, Science & Technology), which visited the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Thursday, underscored the need to develop vital linkages between the research being carried out in the country's premier research institutions and the industry and agriculture. The Committee also underlined the need of an integrated and well-coordinated approach in water research to benefit people associated with agriculture, which remains the mainstay of our economy. "Let an average farmer utilize the indigenously developed technology in better and economical use of water". Bodies like PCRWR and IRSA must act in harmony to pass on the benefit of the ongoing research to farmers. The Senate Body directed PCRWR to make arrangements for holding seminars with a view to enhancing awareness among the farmers for efficient use of water for growing crops. Similarly, it urged that constant water quality management is necessary to prevent water-borne diseases. Earlier, the Chairman PCRWR briefed the Senate Committee on the working and plan of action of PCRWR. He informed that improper solid waste disposal by the industrial concerns and other units resulting in heavy pollution of the ground water. He urged that we must improve the 'base water' by installing more treatment plants near the industrial concerns. He also highlighted the importance of recharging of ground water and low cost methods of canal lining to prevent water losses. The scientists working in the organization urge the Committee to facilitate award of better and special pay scales for them on the pattern of PARC and PAEC as their contribution is also second to none. The Chairperson of the Senate Committee Razina Alam Khan and the members commended the useful work done by the PCRWR especially in water conservation and development of resources and termed the organization as a model one. They urged the government to provide more funds for facilitating research in this vital field and to enforce 'tenure track system' developed by the HEC for scientists, university teachers and researchers promotion. The committee noted with satisfaction the accreditation given to PCRWR by the reputed Norwegian firm and said that it is a source of pride for everyone working here.   The Chairperson of the Senate body Senator Razina Alam Khan also constituted a sub-committee on the occasion, which would be headed by Senator Dr Muhammad Said.