ISLAMABAD: Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum held a virtual meeting with ADB team in Manila together with Ms Xiaohong Yang, Country Director Asian Development Bank and their Energy team on Tuesday.
The meeting was aimed to discuss the progress of the reform programme in the petroleum sector of Pakistan. Energy sector reforms are a part of the Government’s policy to improve energy economics and secure gas and oil supplies across the country.
The SAPM thanked and appreciated ADB for support and cooperation for energy sector reforms in Pakistan. He said that the government had made significant progress in every agenda item of energy reforms despite challenges caused by COVID-19.
SAPM apprised the forum that third-party access policy has been fully implemented. He said that TPA is also available for pipelines and government had advertised the unused capacity of terminals for private companies enabling them to bring & sell the LNG to consumers of their own choice by this April.
Babar highlighted the exploration & production (E&P) activities in the country and said that first bidding round for 15 onshore oil & gas blocks had been completed. He said that the minimum investment carried out by the E&P Companies for studies & investigations in these Blocks will be over USD 71 million in three years which will be followed by the development program in the identified blocks running into hundreds of millions of dollars in located areas. He noted that the second & third round blocks bidding would be completed by end of this year.
The SAPM informed the forum that the government had prepared framework of regulatory authority for the upstream petroleum sector, and it would be put in place after approval by Council of Common Interest (CCI) and necessary legislation.
Apprising the participants on Unaccounted Gas Factor (UFG), SAPM said that both Sui companies had made significant progress on UFG Reduction Plan.
The SAPM appreciated the support of ADB for the hiring of consultant & study of strategic underground gas storage Project. He appreciated the interest of ADB in funding such a project after necessary formalities are completed if the Government of Pakistan desires to proceed after the feasibility study. He underlined the importance of
the underground gas storage facilities & said that this project would enhance the country’s capability to import gas and ensure sustainable economic growth.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms Xiaohong Yang, Country Director ADB lauded the efforts of the Government of Pakistan for bringing reforms in the energy sector. She hoped that the Bank would continue the cooperation in the field of energy.