ISLAMABAD     -    The Petroleum Division of Energy Ministry is working on a strategy to further add around 400 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in distribution network of the two state companies, SNGPL and SSGC, by end of this year. “We have to bring 400 MMCFD LNG in the system by December, out of which 200 MMCFD is guaranteed as tender has already been floated to ensure transparency,” a senior official told APP. He said, around 1200 MMCFD LNG was being added in the distribution network to meet the country’s energy needs. The capacity of Floating Storage and Re-gasification Units (FSRUs) is also being increased, he said.

Answering a question, the official said in future, he was seeing America and Australia emerging as largest exporters of LNG in the world.

He highlighted the importance of imported LNG, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and trans-country gas pipeline projects with Turkmenistan, Russia and Iran, saying oil and gas exploration and production companies could not find any major find since long, while the country’s existing hydrocarbon reserves were depleting gradually. Discussing the government strategy to step up oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas, he said, a proposal was being considered to hold road shows in different countries for award of oil and gas exploration blocks.

“We are in the search for suitable destinations. Six to seven events including Abdu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Energy moots in Calgary and Moscow are scheduled to be held in coming months and these could be better platforms for the purpose.”

He was of the view that such international events could prove fruitful for Pakistan to hold the road shows as delegations from across the world gathered there and looked into possibilities of future investments. “It will be better instead of visiting country to country.”

 However, he said, prior to arranging the shows there was the need of revising the existing petroleum policy and establishing a ‘frontier zone - high risk/high return zone’ and reviewing different rules. He said the Petroleum Division had recently held bidding for 10 exploration blocks, out of which eight had been awarded to qualified bidders. While, bidding for 15 to 20 more blocks had been planned by end of this year with an aim to step up oil and gas exploration activities and achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector.

He said, the government was preparing a summary for creating new oil and gas exploration zone in potential areas of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan. Accordingly, a summary would be presented before the Council of Common Interests for approval, he added.

Explaining the existing exploration licensing zones, the official said the country had been divided into four zones, consisting of West Balochistan-Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar, East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins, Lower Indus Basins and Indus and Makran Basins. Currently the country’s total sedimentary area is around 827,268 square kilometers, out of which 320,741 km or 39 percent of the area is under exploration.