ISLAMABAD (APP) - Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Friday announced Petroleum Policy-2009, focussing on accelerating exploration and production activities in the country. The policy is aimed at achieving maximum self-sufficiency in energy by increasing oil and gas production, Ministry's spokesman told APP. He said the govt was committed to accelerating exploration and development programme to reverse the decline in crude oil production and increase domestic gas production and supply. The spokesman expressed optimism that the programme would help reduce the burden of imported energy and improve the situation in balance of payments and trade. Besides, promoting the involvement of Pakistani oil and gas companies in the country's upstream investment opportunities, the policy will promote direct foreign investment by increasing the competitiveness of its terms of investment in the upstream sector. Under the new strategy, Pakistani professionals would be trained in exploration and production sector for bringing them at par with international standards and creating favourable conditions for their retaining within the country. While special attention would be paid to promote increased exploration and production activity in the onshore frontier areas by providing globally competitive incentives. Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC) would be established to enable a more proactive management of resources. The policy also stressed to undertake exploitation of oil and gas resources in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and responsible manner. The policy has been announced after holding consultations with all stakeholders. Their suggestions and inputs were incorporated for making the policy more effective to achieve the set targets, the spokesman added.