The state owned Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) in collaboration with a Chinese Exploration and Production company has initiated seismic survey in district Gwadar of Balochistan for exploration of oil/gas resources.
“For first time in history, we have completed geological survey and now seismic survey is underway, after data processing we will be in a position to start drilling but the area has huge potential for producing gas”, Managing Director OGDCL, Zahid Mir remarked.
Briefing the Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas held here on Friday with Senator Mohammad Usman Khan Kakar in the chair, Mir said that overall the OGDCL has spent millions of rupees on various developmental projects in Less Developed Areas, adding during the ongoing financial year it will spend hundreds of millions of rupees across four provinces in areas where the company is working.
Usman Kakar and Senator Jahanzaib Jamaldini informed the meeting that Hepatitis was widely spreading in Balochistan, adding the poor people of province can’t afford Hepatitis tests charges that costing up to Rs 15,000.
They urged the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to direct the E&P companies for providing free of charge Hepatitis tests to the people of most under developed province of country.
They also asked the OGDCL to arrange Hepatitis tests for people in collaboration with Agha Khan Hospital and other reputed health institutions to save lives of millions of people.
The committee was apprised the OGDCL launched a special talent hunt program for the students of Less Developed Areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan under which 50 students of each province have been enrolled in Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and in view of this, two months foundation course training was provided to students of provinces, but unfortunately only two students of Balochistan and no student of KP could manage to pass IBA admission test.
The meeting was further informed the OGDCL is to ink an agreement with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Quaid-e-Azam University for giving scholarships to students of Less Developed Areas to bring them at par with students of the rest of country Director General Oil Ministry of the Petroleum, Abdul Jabbar Memon informed the committee that Pakistan’s current installed refining capacity is 18.79 million tons per annum (MTPA) with five refineries while two more refineries have been planned.
He said KP government is expected to make an agreement with Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to set up an oil refinery at Karak. Pakistan State Oil (PSO) slashed a plan of installing a refinery in KP proposed by former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussian.
The committee directed relevant departments to make sure the establishment of refinery in Karak and if there is any land dispute, the committee members were ready to help resolve issues in consultation with the locals.
Memon further said that Pak Arab Refinery Company (PARCO) and Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) are operating at 100 percent as per nameplate capacity while rest of the refineries are older especially two plants by BYCO group, which jointly represent about 38 percent of total installed refining capacity of the country are 2nd hand units. As against the above mentioned refining capacity, the actual annual production of the refineries during 2015-16 remained 11.7 million tons or 62 percent capacity utilization, he added.