ISLAMABAD - Though Italian company energy major ENI on Wednesday claimed discovering a major reserve of between 300 billion and 400 billion cubic feet of gas some 350 kilometres north of Karachi in Pakistan yet the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has rejected the claim by stating that it is an exaggerated claim.

Secretary Petroleum Dr Waqqar Masood while talking to TheNation said that this was an exaggerated claim of the company because from this gas reservoir only 20mmcfd gas would be produce which would be like a peanut in front of country's gas production from already discovered reservoirs.

He said currently the gas production in the country is more than 4,000 million cubic feet per day. 

On the other hand, the ENI has reportedly said in a statement that the discovery was made in the Khirtar Fold Belt region close to the ENI-operated Bhit gas processing facility.

ENI said it "confirms the presence of significant exploration potential that can be exploited through the application of new geological models."

The company said it had begun talks with Pakistani authorities on creating a joint venture, adding, that it would "help to reduce the national gas deficit."

ENI has been in Pakistan since 2000 and is the country's largest producer, with average production of 54,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2011.