Islamabad  -  Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that as usual, the country would be facing gas shortfall in winter season due to growing demand of gas for domestic consumers.

“Presently we are facing gas and energy crisis as our import bill of petroleum products including LNG and LPG is over $12 billion. We cannot continue to spend such high amount of foreign exchange every year on the import of petroleum products,” the minister said while addressing as chief guest at the Energy Forum 2018.

The minister said that only in 1960, multipurpose mega dams were constructed but after that, no dam could be constructed.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the nation has been hearing about Bhasha Dam since the year 2,000 but the dam is on papers till now.

He further said that 3 rivers were given to India under agreement inked in 1960. He said that big dams were built in 1960 and added that Kalabagh dam was a practical project but it was politicised.

He said that gas utilities were facing Rs150 billion revenue shortfall. He added that 19 licenses were given to explore oil and gas but no development had been made in this regard.

He said that government would form short-, medium- and long-terms policies for energy projects.

He said that past governments had depended on thermal generation and agreements with the IPPs lacked transparency. He said that the NAB and FIA were investigating LNG deals for lack of transparency.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that no new exploration was made in the oil and gas sector during the last five years.

He said that in the past, governments have not been giving top priority to explore new oil and gas reserves in the country.

Chairman Oil and Gas Regulator Authority (OGRA) Uzma Adil said that issues could be resolved by bringing transparency in the projects. She said that there was a proposal to merge upstream, midstream and downstream industry.

She said that all stakeholders should be taken on board to implement proposal of merging the industries. She said that merger of industries would bring improvement in oil and gas sectors.

MD PAPCO Shujauddin said that Pakistan had over 2,000 kilometres of cross-country pipeline infrastructure. There is potential requirement for further development of pipelines in Pakistan either of crude oil or fuel pipelines, he added.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shell Pakistan said that oil import bill could touch US$20 billion during the current year if trend in existing oil prices continued putting pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

He further said that oil import bill was US$12 billion in 2017. He said that there was great need of up-gradation of pipelines and making big storages in the country.