Country producing 15% of total oil consumption: Senate told

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar on Thursday said the government was making all-out efforts to accelerate oil and gas exploration activities in different potential areas of the country for achieving self-reliance.“The country is producing 15 percent of the total oil consumption and a huge amount is spent on oil import to meet the day to day demand,” he said during the question-hour session of the Senate.He said the total number of oil and gas fields was around 150 throughout the country, out of which 125 were giving production, while 21 were under evaluation and “four fields are dormant.”He said the current production of oil and gas from Balochistan province was 98.52 barrels per day and 745,81 million cubic feet per day respectively.

The minister said Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) were producing oil and gas from Pirkoh, Loti and Uch leases falling in Dera Bugti district.He said both the companies had been spending substantial amount voluntarily on welfare projected being executed in these areas like health, education and water supply.Responding to a question, Naveed Qamar said PPL had appointed 418 employees during last three years adding oil and gas companies operating in the country should give priority to local people where exploration activities were carried out.During the period, he said PPL had spent Rs 430 million under the welfare projects in health, education and infrastructure development sectors.Replying to another question, he said OGDCL had 1402 employees on its enrolment from Balochistan province. “This comes to 8.71 percent of its total number to employees against the provincial quota of six percent, showing an excess of 2.71 percent.”To another question, Naveed Qamar said Rs. 135.815 million have been allocated in the current budget to provide electricity to 110 villages of Balochistan province.