ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan plans to offer about 50 sites for oil and gas exploration through bidding in June, Saleem H Mandviwalla, chairman of the Board of Investment, said on Wednesday, as the country seeks to cut its reliance on oil imports. Pakistan, which imports about 80 percent of its oil, spent $9.5b on imports of 10.6 million tonnes of petroleum products and 7.8m tonnes of crude oil in the last financial year. The country last year announced a new petroleum policy to speed petroleum exploration and attract more direct investment, mainly in the upstream sector. Saleem H. Mandviwalla, chairman of the Board of Investment, expected increased investment in the petroleum sector during the next fiscal year from July to June, and said about 50 concessions would be offered in June through bidding. There will be a lot of companies we are inviting from different parts of the world to come and look at exploration, he told Reuters in an interview. The concessions would be offered both offshore and onshore. Pakistans unexplored gas reserves are estimated at 62.26 trillion cubic feet with unexplored oil reserves at 3.5 billion barrels. The oil and gas sector has attracted $321 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) this fiscal year, which began on July 1. Total FDI fell 54.6 percent to $1.17 billion that period, from $2.59 billion in the same period the previous year. SECURITY FEARS Mandviwalla said the global financial crisis and security fears were the major contributors to the fall in FDI. Pakistan attracted $5.27 billion in FDI in the 2007/08 fiscal year, dropping to $3.71 billion in 2008/09. The global financial crisis and security problems have affected us the most...I dont expect more than $2 billion this year, said Mandviwalla. But he said he expected the investment environment to improve as govt forces stepped up pressure on militants. He cited a 100 percent increase in portfolio investment in the July-January period as a sign of the easing global financial crisis which, he added, would spur direct investment in countries such as Pakistan. Portfolio investment inflows were $290.7 million in the first seven months of this fiscal year compared with an outflow of $355.8 million in the same period of the last fiscal year. I foresee a turnaround in the 2010/2011 financial year, I see things getting better ... there are several projects in the pipeline, including infrastructure projects such as dams, said Mandviwalla. Next year, if all these projects take place and happen, the FDI can double, provided the situation continues getting better.