After years of media hypes, half-hearted efforts and meager investment, the country is finally able to produce 90,000 barrel crude oil per day. The Pakistani coastline falls in the same geographical region as are the oil rich Arab states and Iran, but it could not bring its oil production to a hundred thousand barrel a day in 70 years. There had been a lot of rumor-mongering in the country for years that Iranian king is hindering oil exploration in Pakistan. However, after the Islamic revolution in Iran, the rumors subdued, but oil still remained unexplored in the country. Another pack of rumors suggest that there are huge deposits of oil and gas on the sea shores of Karachi due to which the international secret agencies, hostile to Pakistan, converted the city of lights into the city of deaths. However, no words came out of the mouth of any government official whether the oil deposits on the sea shores are myth or reality.
During the 70 years history of the country, dozens of foreign companies came, invested and packed up without doing any significant improvement in the exploration. The oil and gas regulation authority has allegedly become a white elephant like the other giant government organizations.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has now stepped its efforts to achieve self-reliance in oil and gas sectors and has granted dozens of new exploration licenses to foreign companies. The oil companies have drilled 179 exploratory and 194 appraisal wells that resulted in dozens of new oil and gas discoveries. Reports suggest that at least 944 million cubic feet per day gas and 32,343 barrels oil per day have been added to the transmission network through indigenous resources. An official agency has claimed that the petroleum sector attracted over $10 billion foreign investment during the last four years.Various international companies are aspiring to invest in the liquefied natural gas sector. They want to set up their own LNG terminals and develop transmission networks up to consumers.
The previous government of Nawaz Sharif had signed a $15 billion contract with Qatar Gas to import 600 million cubic feet per day LNG to meet the demands of industrial and fertilizer sectors as well as the gas-based power generation plants in the country. At least 1,200 CNG stations, which were closed due to unavailability of gas, have now restarted their operations. The makeshift arrangements work for a specific time, therefore, there is a need to make a serious effort to accelerate process of exploration in the country.