Gas fields in KPK depleting fast: Shahid Khaqan

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Wednesday gas fields in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK) were fast depleting, necessitating to explore more hydrocarbon resources to meet growing energy requirements.

Briefing the sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources which met here with Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash in the chair, the minister said production from these fields had witnessed two to three percent reduction and the situation could potentially worse, in case no further discoveries were made.

However, the minister said hydrocarbon resources’ prospects were high in entire stretch and exploration were under way, which would go a long way in augmenting the oil and gas production.

He added people stole gas amounting to Rs 8 billion in a broad-day light in Kohat division districts through illegal connections for their commercial power units, stressing solid measures to rectify the situation.

He said provincial and the federal government together were needed to share cost by providing 50 percent funds each to lay infrastructure and legalize their connection.

The committee assured full cooperation to take action against the gas theft in those areas and urging the provincial government to share cost with federal government to rectifying situation and save the public money.

The committee also expressed dismay over violation of rules by the provincial government for untilization of 10 percent of the royalty fee government on uplift projects in the area where oil and gas was produced.

The minister said the royalty collected by the federal government was paid to the provincial governments which were supposed to utilize 10 percent of the royalty for infrastructure development in the districts where oil and gas was produced.

The committee also directed the oil and gas exploration companies to provide complete list of its employees including skilled and unskilled workforce as to know if priority was given in employment to local people.

The minister informed new policy envisaged 80 percent of quota for the local unskilled staff where gas and oil was produced.

The committee’s members said local people should be given priority in jobs in order to overcome law and order situation there, as they viewed situation was deteriorated when jobs were denied to the local people.

Senator Talha opined the company could save billions of rupees, which they spend on their security, by providing jobs to local people.

MD ODGCL Riaz Khan said compressors had been purchased to inject into system 1 mmcd low pressure gas that used to be wasted in flare up at an gas field at Karak.

The committee was attended by Muhammad Talha Mahmood, Osman Saifullah Khan, besides officials of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources, SNGPL and MOL and representative of those areas.