ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has said that Petroleum Policy 2012 would boost incentives for investors to push oil and gas exploration and production to overcome the country’s energy crunch as well as ensure the economic interests of different stakeholders.

“There are abundant untapped reserves of gas and oil available in Sindh, Balochistan and other part of the country which need to be explored to end the existing energy crisis in the country”, said Yassar Sakhi Butt, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

He expressed deep concern over underutilization of these resources, which have not been exploited due to technological backwardness and lack of innovative policies as well as due to political issues. Therefore, he urged the government to explore these oil and gas resources to make the country self-reliant in energy sector.

He stressed that all the stakeholders of the concerned areas may be invited to sit together and put an end to the uncertain situation prevailing for the industry which need a boost by addressing our energy needs.

ICCI President said that payments for oil import bill is the key factors that has put pressure on fragile economy as oil imports comprise almost 40 per cent of Pakistan’s total import bill, resulting in a huge trade deficit. Therefore, exploration of domestic oil reverses is essential to bring some stability in the falling value of rupee by controlling oil import bill.

Yassar Sakhi Butt was of the view that that the success rate of the drilling in Pakistan was very good and the shares of gas in energy mix is 45.4 percent, oil 34.9 percent, coal 6.1 percent, hydel 12.3 percent and nuclear 1.3 percent. He said that government should capitalize this huge potential as increasing gap between supply and demand of oil and gas in the country would be a big challenge in the years to come.

ICCI President said that no new project has been undertaken in the last couple of years mainly because of the growing gap between exploration costs and the lower returns on investment but it is quite encouraging that Petroleum Policy 2012 offers much better returns on investment.

He invited investors to come and explore oil & gas sector of Pakistan that offer huge investment potential.