Govt taking steps to overcome energy shortage: Minister

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that present government is taking measures to overcome energy shortage in the country. Talking to a news channel in Islamabad, he said that government has initiated steps to increase gas production in the country. He said that energy shortage could not be overcome until availability of gas was increased in the country. Khaqan Abbasi said that present government will import LNG to resolve gas crisis in the country. He said that work has been started in phases to lay a gas pipeline under TAPI project costing 400 billion rupees. The project has been lingering on for the last twenty-four years.

To a question regarding Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project, he said that it could not be completed due to international sanctions on Iran.

He dispelled the impression that gas was not being provided to domestic consumers despite its availability. He said however it is being provided to the industrial sectors in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa under the Constitution.

PIA acknowledges Saudi

support in Haj operation

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): PIA gives appreciation certificates to Saudi authorities for extending cooperation during this year's Haj operation. The certificates were distributed on behalf of PIA Chairman by PIA's Director Airport Services, Capt. Anwar Adil to CEO Saudi Ground Services Qaid Khalaf Al Otebi and his team in Jeddah last evening. In addition, appreciation certificates were also given to Khalid Ansari DGM GACA as well as Hammad Noor, Khurmi and Hassam of PPMDC. Muhammad Ali PIA's Station Manager Jeddah and Imtiaz Bhutto PIA's Country Manager Saudi Arabia were also present on the occasion.

Chinese language promotion to help up Pak-China trade

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Promotion of Chinese language in Pakistan will lead towards formation of an effective economic block in the region through a long-term partnership of Pakistan and China in various fields of trade and Industry. This was stated by Shah Faisal Afridi, President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a meeting with a 16-member Chinese delegation that was led by Dr Wang Li. He briefed the delegation about the efforts made by PCJCCI to promote Chinese language in Pakistan. He told that a pilot project in this regard was being completed in collaboration with TEVTA in Punjab and after successful completion of the pilot project in Punjab, PCJCCI will replicate Chinese language course also in other provinces of Pakistan.

The delegation included Zhao Jiang Lin, Head of Division of International Economic Relation of National Institute of International Strategy, Zhu Ke, Vice President/Head of Tsinghua University Real Estate, Wei Zhihai, Vice President of SINOTRUK group, and Han Bin, Director of Institute of rail Transit of Tongji University.

Foundry industry has great

growth potential

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan’s foundry industry has great potential which needs to be tapped with the special support initiatives like Foundry Service Centre (FSC) for making the industry competitive both in the domestic as well as international market.This was stated by Dr Fazal A. Khalid, Vice Chancellor, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, while speaking as chief guest on the closing ceremony of a training workshop organized by the Pakistan Foundry Association and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) at Foundry Service Centre, Lahore. The topic of the training workshop was “Steel Casting Methods”.

The workshop was conducted by Nabeel A. Khan, an international foundry technologist, who delivered lecture as a key resource person and also conducted practical sessions on the most modern global trends in Steel Casting Methoding. Dr Fazal A. Khalid, Vice Chancellor, UET Lahore, urged upon the foundry industry to take full advantage of the opportunities coming ahead like CPEC projects and the huge potential to take more share in the export market by producing quality products with the assistance of FSC. He appreciated SMEDA for taking progressive initiatives to make the industry competitive and sustainable.

Oil drops before US inventories data

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices resumed their decline on Wednesday ahead of the release of data on US commercial crude stockpiles and production. The market has been highly volatile during the holiday-shortened final week of 2015 and remained near multi-year lows in the face of indications a supply glut will continue into 2016. In late morning deals on Wednesday in London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February was down 89 cents at $36.9. US WTI shed $1.07 to $36.80 compared with Tuesday's closing level. Analysts expect US commercial crude stockpiles in the week to December 25 to have declined when the Department of Energy releases the data later Wednesday, but Bloomberg News said that would still leave supplies more than 120m barrels above the five-year seasonal average.

US oil production is expected to remain above 9.1 million barrels per day, which would bring little respite to the crude oversupply that has kept prices down for more than a year, analysts said.

"The inventory data is likely going to be the most important set of news that we would be seeing this week," Daniel Ang, an analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore, said in a market commentary.

"Most likely, production would disappoint us and remain above 9.1m barrels/day," he added.

At a meeting earlier this month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively rejected calls for output cuts to boost prices.

Iran is also expected to ramp up its oil exports after Western economic sanctions are lifted next year as part of a deal reached in July to curb Tehran's nuclear programme, further exacerbating the supply and demand imbalance.

Oil had collapsed early last week, with Brent striking an 11-year low on the back of a stubborn global supply glut that has plagued the market.

On December 21, WTI slumped to $33.98 -- the lowest price since mid-February 2009. One day later, Brent crude tumbled to $35.98 -- the weakest level since early July 2004.