ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar has announced to table the Tight Gas Policy before the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in its forthcoming meeting to be held within a month. He ha salso underlined the need for accelerating the indigenous oil and gas production while keeping the untapped, unconventional reservoirs of tight and low BTU gases in the spotlight. Syed Naveed Qamar made this announcement on Wednesday while speaking on the occasion of the Annual Technical Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and Pakistan Association of Petroleum Geoscientists (PAPG), 2010 here. A large of experts from the petroleum industry, corporate heads, delegates from the Ministry and university students attended the ceremony. Dwelling on the conference theme Evolving Exploration and Production Strategy for Growing Energy Needs, the Minister informed the audience that the Tight Gas Policy had been formulated by the Ministry and was ready to be tabled before the CCI in its forthcoming meeting. He said that as soon as the Tight Gas Policy was approved and announced, it would avail the opportunity from that resource, so far left underground, while every un-recovered, unexploited hydrocarbon molecule was adding to the overall budgetary deficit in a big way. The Petroleum Minister also announced that the Ministry would grant scholarships to deserving candidates to enable them to acquire skills and serve the country in a better way. Ali Murtaza Abbas, spokesperson of this conference, told TheNation that the tight gas refers to natural gas reservoirs locked in extraordinarily impermeable, hard rock, making the underground formation extremely tight. The tight gas can also be trapped in sandstone or limestone formations that are atypically impermeable or nonporous, also known as tight sand. Furthermore, this policy aims to provide incentives to petroleum exploration and production companies to drill deeper in the ground to find hard-to-reach gas reserves. Moreover, one of the main incentives is 40 percent premium over the gas price that companies will be getting under the Petroleum Policy 2009. Pakistans total gas production stands at 4.1 billion cubic feet (BCF) per day, but the actual quantity of gas available after accounting for leakages during transmission is 3.7 BCF, much shorter than 4.8 BCF demand, he added. It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan had approximately 40 trillion cubic feet (TCF) reservoirs of tight gas, which was more than 37 TCF of conventional reserves in the country and which needed a separate policy to be explored optimally. But there was no policy to encourage investment in tight and shell gas, which was a highly technical area and needs more investment. Reportedly, there were at least 28 exploration and production firms, operating in Pakistan, of which, 17 are foreign companies.