China has agreed to invest in the oil and gas sector of Pakistan and has also agreed to discover untapped shale gas reserves, Daily Times learnt on Tuesday.
Two Chinese oil and gas companies Poly-GCL and Sino-PEC have reached an agreement to come to Pakistan in the sector and to invest billions in drilling and developing the gas reserves of the country.
Pakistan has been blessed with abundant oil and gas reserves, particularly Shale gas reserves, but a lack of expertise and paucity of funds are the main impediments to discovering these natural resources, according to a source.
A five-member delegation visited China recently to woo Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan, headed by Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) Managing Director Zahid Mir.
In Beijing, the Pakistani delegation held fruitful discussions with the administration of the companies that have already invested in the oil and gas sector of countries like Ethiopia and the Middle East.
The source said Pakistan would offer onshore blocks situated in parts of Sindh and Balochistan which are rich with shale gas reserves.
Gas is the latest phenomenon in recent times but due to shortage of funds and lack of expertise, Pakistan could not have entered this field. Now, with the coming of Chinese companies, untapped natural reserved could be drilled and developed informed the source.
On a reciprocal basis, China has asked the OGDCL delegation to come to China and develop the natural reserves that had already been discovered since the OGDCL has skilled manpower and expertise as well, the source said.
China has also told the delegation that Pakistan petrochemical engineers should visit the country to work or collaborate with Chinese engineers in order to benefit from their talents and skills on a reciprocal basis.
Pakistan has also assured the companies that foolproof security will be provided for them.
OGDCL spokesman has confirmed to this scribe that the OGDCL delegation has returned to Pakistan after holding a fruitful discussion with Chinese companies and hoped that China would soon start investing in the oil and gas sector, with focus on the shale gas sector.
The spokesman noted that shale gas reserves are abundant in Pakistan but shortage of funds are the main hurdle in discovering or tapping into them.
He said Pakistan’s oil and gas sector has the potential to change the country’s future. Zahir Mir has apprised the Petroleum Ministry about the discussions held with Chinese companies and their willingness to invest in Pakistan.