Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Saturday met a delegation of Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (MPCL) led by its Managing Director Lt Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmed.At the outset, Lt Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmed thanked the Finance Minister for the Government’s policies as well as his role which had helped turnaround the company. He briefed the Finance Minister about the company’s exploration, development and production efforts, with reference to post-dismantling of Mari Cost-Plus Gas Price Agreement (GPA). He stated that the decisions taken by ECC relevant to the gas sector had enabled the Mari Gas company to raise spending on exploration activities to US$106 million this year as compared to US$ 32 million spent last year. The Finance Minister was also informed that MPCL will add up to 200 MMSCF gas per day to the system within a couple of months that will result in annual saving of US$ 250-300 million for the country. The MD on this occasion also referred to the company’s application for conversion to 2012 Policy which would allow MPCL to bring on stream substantial new production (around 100-150 MMSCF) by end-2016. The MD also informed the Minister that with improvement of security conditions in Balochistan, a number of new opportunities are likely to open up.Finance Minister welcomed the company’s plans to beef up supply of natural gas that would help meet the growing needs of power and fertilizer sectors in the country. He stated that the country was endowed with precious natural resouces and it was imperative that we make full use of them. He appreciated Mari Gas’s exemplary exploratory work and said utilization of indigenous resources was the way to preserve precious foreign exchange and boost economic development. He said the government has embarked on the path to growth and development and it was important that energy requirements for the development activities are cattered for. The Minister stated that the Government would ensure that the exploration activities continue all over the country in a safe and secure environment and all necessary measure would be taken to acheive that objective. He assured MD Mari Petroleum of full support in its good work and hoped that other Pakistani exploration companies would be encouraged by the success that Mari Gas has achieved.Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance attended the meeting.