ISLAMABAD: The federal government has invited oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) sector to participate in the import of LNG to fill energy deficiency in the country.

Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Resources, Jam Kamal Khan said that import of LNG to Pakistan may affect the E&P companies in Pakistan, but the oil and gas companies could join the business, as Pakistan is an energy deficit country.

He was talking at Annual Technical Conference and Oil Show 2017 here at Pak-China Friendship Center on Wednesday. The Society of Petroleum Engineers and Pakistan Association of Petroleum Geoscientists jointly organized the event.

By engagement through social media and web, online registration reached 1,300 delegates excluding exhibitors which are almost 250. The number of participants exceeds 1,500 mark which never happened in the history of Annual Technical Conference (ATC).

Total 35 companies are now exhibiting and all 60 booths planned, have been sold. Several companies from outside Pakistan are participating in the event by exhibiting their products and innovative technologies.

He said, “The LNG is a surprise subject for the whole of country as many people are skeptical how the LNG would be functioning in Pakistan.”

“We are seeing more prospects in the business of LNG import with inauguration of second LNG terminal a few days back,” he added.

Jam Kamal Khan maintained that the current government from day one has been keen to explore all possible ventures and new developments are noticeable all around. Going into challenging areas and exploring new frontiers is the need of the hour and this government always supported new ventures.

“Due to lower oil prices around the globe we have taken advantage of reducing our oil import bill but on the other hand we have greater challenge to retain and encourage foreign exploration companies to explore new frontiers in Pakistan. As the facilitator, the government is fully committed,” he added.

With foreign partnership, he said, it is always an opportunity to learn from the global experiences. He appreciated all exhibitors who are keen to invest in Pakistan through knowledge transfer and new technologies. He conveyed his regards to the organizers for setting up a great show.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman ATC / MD PPL Syed Wamiq Bokhari said that this year the theme of the conference is ‘adding reserves to sustain exploration & production industry.’

“We need to add reserves as well as diversify our energy resource mix,” he said and mentioned that experts from different parts of the world participating in the event are here to contribute their knowledge and rich experience to foster oil & gas industry in Pakistan.

The keynote speaker on the occasion Dr Ishrat Hussain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan, emphasized the fact that exploration and production companies should diversify their portfolio and target renewables. He said that it is high time that the countries should focus on multiple sources of energy rather than just relying on fossil fuels.

The conference proceeds with zeal and enthusiasm as the organizers sponsor students and faculty members from all parts of Pakistan. There is also a student paper competition in which students are encouraged to share their learning.

A total of 40 technical papers were presented shedding light on different areas of exploration in Pakistan.