Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik on Friday said the government was committed to exploiting indigenous hydrocarbon resources for achieving self-sustenance in the energy sector.
Addressing a news conference, he said a plan was being devised to provide effective package of incentives to both local and foreign exploration and production (E&P) companies to step up drilling activities in potential areas across the country.
Country’s existing gas deposits were facing depletion at the rate of 10% annually for the last five to six years. It was essential to discover new sites and extract oil and gas with modern machinery.
Malik further said that the government was considering a deregulation policy to ensure a competitive environment, besides providing a level-playing field
“There will not be a monopoly,” he said, adding the government would provide maximum facilities to those interested in investing in the oil and gas sector.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted a commission to find reasons behind the existing energy crisis and subsequent deterioration of the national economy.
The terms of reference (TORs) for the commission, he said, would be finalised in seven to eight days and corrective measures would be taken accordingly.
Malik said it was unfortunate that the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had set “time bombs”. It did not take initiatives to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at reduced rates and closed most of the power generation projects initiated by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.