ISLAMABAD (APP) - Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain here Friday said the government has set a target of drilling 100 new oil and gas exploration wells during 2009 to meet growing energy demand in the country. Presently, the country has about 45 rigs from where oil and gas is being produced and supplied to meet day to day demands of the country, he said. "The government has set the target and I will make utmost effort that 100 new wells must be dig in the year 2009. New rigs are need of the hour," the advisor said while addressing a press conference here at OGDCL office. Giving a brief on exploration activities, he said till now 725 exploratory wells have been drilled, out of which 66 existed before the partition of the sub-continent. All these drills produced 219 wells, 54 of oil and 165 of condensate oil and gas. He said success rate in oil and gas exploration is 'very high' in Pakistan as compared to other discoveries at international level. This figure shows that after almost every three to four drillings there is a find, while at international level discovery comes after eight to ten attempts, Dr. Asim Hussain informed the media. The country has so far 960 appraisal wells, which indicates how much potential of oil and gas exists in the area and whether it is commercially viable or not, he added. He said the ministry has so far awarded 119 exploration licences to public and private sectors. Commenting on oil and gas production of the country, he said gas production is 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) and the oil production is 37,000 barrels per day (bpd) against the demand of 9-10 bcfd of gas and 77,000 bpd of oil. To a question, the advisor said the new petroleum policy has almost been finalized, which would be announced soon, adding a social work programme is being considered under the new policy. Elaborating, he said till now the production bonus has not trickled down to those areas from where discoveries were made. Under the new policy, production bonus would be given to provinces directly for further disbursement to the districts aimed at ending their sense of deprivation, he added. To make the country self-sufficient in oil and gas sector the network of OGDCL and PPL is being expanded to other countries like Yemen, Iraq, Nigeria and Sudan. "We have taken a concession in Yemen from the oil company named OMB and further negotiations are underway," he added. Further explaining strategy of his team, the advisor said now off-shore drilling has been started in the country, adding "foreign companies operating in the country are extremely hopeful that there will be massive gas discoveries in off-shore drilling." Besides, the exploration activities would be intensified in Balochistan's area of Kohlu, which is famous for having natural resources in abundance, Dr. Asim Hussain said. Commenting on present status of Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project, he said all modalities with regard to the project have been finalized except gas pricing formula. Iran is demanding very high price for its gas, which is not affordable for the domestic consumers of Pakistan. He was of the view that all modalities of the project would be put before the parliament for its approval before finalising the deal with Iran.