ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan Monday underlined the need for promoting Research and Development (R&D) in the hydrocarbon sector in collaboration with academia aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in energy sector of the country.
“I am very happy to see the living example of collaboration with universities in oil and gas sector, but let’s take it a step further as well,” he said while addressing the launching ceremony of Pakistan Energy Outlook-2019 here.
The ceremony was organized by Petroleum Institute of Pakistan (PIP), which was attended by energy experts from across the country and abroad.
He termed the collaboration a ‘venture capital,’ citing examples of several countries where different companies in diverse fields adopted modern technologies, involved students and generated billions of dollars revenue, producing integrated technologies.
The minister said the new renewable energy policy had been drafted and presented to the quarters concerned for approval, while the new energy and exploration and production policies would be coming up in another month-and-a-half.
He said the energy industry was also poised at the ‘kodak moment,’ elaborating that all the stakeholders were now focusing on statistics with regard to the country’s potential and future needs in the energy sector.
Omar Ayub said the energy outlook showed numerous challenges in the energy sector, but there was good news that the country had good potential for making investment and growth in the area by pursuing an effective strategy.
He stressed the need for bringing down dependency on the imported fuel as the country had substitute and competitive fuel around, adding “It is essential for our national interest.”
The minister said pricing of renewable energy was dropping because of advancement of technology, and the country would have to switch over to alternative resources to meet the increasing demand of energy. “The energy is the major driver of economic growth,” he said, asking the energy experts to work for get rid of expensive fuel and switching over to cheap alternative energy resources.
By the year 2025, he said, the country had set the target to take the renewable energy from 3-4 percent to 20 percent of the total energy mix and by the 2030 it would reach 30 percent.
In the petroleum exploration sector, he said, more modern techniques would have to be applied in potential areas across the country to increase the domestic production of oil and gas.
Omar said the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was pursing an effective strategy to implement the ease-of-doing-business plan in the energy sector, by facilitating investors and removing the procedural hurdles.
“Variables of growth for profits are there,” he said while inviting both local and foreign investors to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector as the government was extending all possible facilities to the interested companies.
Later talking to media persons, the Petroleum Minister said the conference had focused on the confronted challenges and existing opportunities in the country’s energy sector.
He said the government was bringing in transparent policies, which would help grow the industrial sector and increase investment in diverse fields, creating more and more job opportunities in the country.
Omar Ayub said the new policies would provide a clear picture and roadmap to the industrialists and investors so that they could invest in the energy sector, adding the world energy players were eying on this energy sector.
“Pakistan’s growth trajectory will be better and the wheel of economy will move at a fast pace in the coming days,” he said.
Answering a question, the minister said currently 1,600 MW electricity was being produced through renewable energy resources, which would be taken to 10, 000 MW in 2025 and 18,000 by the year 2030.
To another question, there were a lot of concerns about performance of K-Electric especially loss of previous lives during recent rains there. “Investigation in that regard is underway and after its completion, the report will be shared with the concerned standing committee and media.”
Commenting on the issue of last winter season’s inflated gas bills, he said, the matter was in the court, however, the government had directed the concerned gas company to return the overcharged amount which was caused by the pressure factor.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar said an amount of Rs 2.8 was additionally charged from the consumers. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority have been directed to get the case disposed of at the earliest. “As the case is discharged, which we hope will be done before the coming winter, the overcharged amount will be returned,” he said.