WASHINGTON: The Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Asim Hussain, while addressing the first day of the Pakistan Petroleum Exploration Conference 2012 in Houston, Texas on Monday, highlighted the salient features of recently announced national Petroleum Policy 2012, according to a media report.

The two-day conference has been organized by Pakistan s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and is being sponsored by several leading oil and gas exploration companies. the second leg of the conference as well as a roadshow will be held in London, UK, on Dec 13 and 14.

Dr. Asim Hussain, in his remarks, invited the investors and International exploration and production companies to come forward and invest in Pakistan to benefit from attractive price regime and other incentives provided in the policy. He also informed them that government of Pakistan, for the first time in its history, has formulated policies on Tight Gas and Low BTU Gas while policies on shale gas, flared gas, Marginal and Stranded oil and gas fields were in the pipeline.

"As regards the prospects of oil and gas exploration in the country, Pakistan is endowed with vast sedimentary area of over 800,000 square kilometers of which over 70% is yet to be explored", he pointed out. "The success ratio of oil and gas discoveries is one of the best in the world as is evident from the success ratio of 1 : 3.22 discovery rate", the minister maintained.

It may be mentioned here that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has divided the areas in Pakistan, where oil and gas reserves are likely to be present, in three zones. The ministry is intending to offer 60 new concession blocks in these three zones, in all four provinces, for bidding to the interested parties at a later stage.

Mr. Peter Seitinger, of OMV, Pakistan, informed the audience of his company’s work experience in Pakistan and said that his company had benefitted immensely from the investor friendly policies of the country and the overall experience had been very rewarding for them.

Other speakers on the occasion included Counsel General of Pakistan in Houston Aquil Nadeem, former Secretary Petroleum G. A. Sabri, DG Petroleum Concessions, Qazi Mohammad Saleem Siddiqui , MD OGDCL Masood Siddiqui and MD PPL Asim Murtaza.

The first day of the conference was attended by the leading international and local oil and gas companies. They evinced keen interest in new Petroleum Policy 2012. During the conference, a signing ceremony between the Government of Pakistan, GHPL, OGDCL, PPL, United Energy of Pakistan (UEP) and ENI was held regarding farm-in farm-out of shares in Indus-G off shore block of ENI.

The conference was followed by a Question Answer session from the potential investors and E & P companies seeking certain queries in the context of oil and gas sector and policies of the government. They were informed that law and order situation had considerably improved as compared to the past though there is still room for further improvement in some areas for which efforts were afoot to bring normalcy in law and order situation.