US firm set to discover ‘huge oil reserves’ in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD, (DNA) – A well-known multinational oil and gas firm in the United States ‘Exxon Mobil’ is on the point of exploring huge oil reserves near the Pakistan-Iran border, which could reportedly be bigger than the Kuwaiti reserves.Caretaker Minister for Maritime and Foreign Affairs Abdullah Hussain Haroon made this revelation while addressing business leaders at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

If the oil deposits are discovered as expected, Pakistan will be among top the 10 oil-producing countries ahead of Kuwait in sixth position.

Kuwait’s oil reserves make up 8.4 percent of the oil reserves in the world. Kuwait claims to hold about 101.50 billion barrels, including half of five billion barrels in the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone which Kuwait shares with Saudi Arabia.

The minister said Exxon Mobil had so far drilled up to 5,000 meters close to the Iranian border and is optimistic about the oil find.

He also informed that the Government of Pakistan had already taken an undertaking from the company to set up a generation complex worth $10 billion. “Foreign investors are interested in coming to Pakistan, provided we manage to meet their standards and attract them to make investment,” he said.

He emphasized the need for integrating the Karachi Port and Port Qasim so that they could supplement each other in the larger interest of the country.

According to current estimates, 81.89 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves are located in OPEC member countries, with the bulk of OPEC oil reserves in the Middle East, amounting to 65.36 percent of the OPEC total, latest OPEC data shows.

Earlier during the meeting, Ghazanfar Bilour, President FPCCI said that Pakistan trade was facing global competition both in terms of marketing products and trade diplomacy as the agreement signed by Pakistan to expand exports were not providing potential benefits.

He appreciated the role of foreign ministry in achieving GSP Plus status from the European Union but pointed out that there was a need to find a lobbyist to get GSP from USA for our textile products. “We need strong advocacy to achieve market access for Pakistani products in other leading markets, and of course, correction in the existing bilateral trade agreements.” He remarked.

Arab News further reports that in May 2018, the ExxonMobil had acquired 25 percent stakes in offshore drilling in Pakistan. The agreement was signed at Prime Minister’s Secretariat among ExxonMobil, Government Holdings Private Limited, PPL, Eni and the Oil and Gas Development Corporation.

“The agreement has reduced the drilling share of other partner exploration companies to 25 percent each,” the report adds.