It gives me great pleasure to be here in Stavanger, the heart of the Norwegian petroleum industry, to attend the 14th World Petroleum Congress. I am grateful to the organisers for affording me this opportunity. Although I have been in Norway only a short while, I am greatly impressed by the natural beauty of the country and the warm hospitality of its people, two characteristics we share with our host country. A third is that we are also fortunate to have elected a dynamic and progressive Lady Prime Minister for a second term, with the vision and determination to lead Pakistan into the 21st century in the vanguard of nations, keeping an equitable balance between economic growth and social uplift. We will try to equal Prime Minister Brundtland's successful record by electing Prime Minister Bhutto also for a third term! I have been told that we can only speak for a maximum of 10–15 min. Mr. Chairman, an elected politician such as myself is rarely provided the opportunity to address a captive audience, especially as illustrious a gathering as we have here today.

With due respect, Sir, it is patently unfair to restrict us to such a short duration, for politics and brevity do not mix. It is, as they say, against the nature of the beast! Nevertheless, I will attempt to be brief. My talk will focus on the present status of the energy sector in Pakistan, the new initiatives recently announced by the Government and the major investment prospects now on offer.

Pakistan's Petroleum Industry has a long history.

The first oil well in the Potwar region was drilled in 1867, which was about the same time as the first wells were being drilled in the United States of America. Pakistan's sedimentary basin is spread over 800000 km2 of which 200000 km2 is offshore. A total of only 374 exploratory wells have been drilled so far, yet 94 have led to commercial (oil or gas) discoveries, an encouraging success ratio of 1: 4 as against the world average of 1: 10. Remaining proven, recoverable reserves of oil are estimated to be 200 million barrels and 23 trillion cubic feet of gas. With approximately 60% of Pakistan's sedimentary basin remaining to be explored, total possible recoverable reserves of oil are estimated to be 40 billion barrels and 200 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Pakistan's demand for oil products today is some 15 million tonnes a year, growing at over 10% annually. Of this, less than one-fourth is produced locally.

Gas production at 1.7 billion cubic feet a day is also well short of demand, which is calculated to be about 2.2 billion cubic feet per day. Even this is a ‘suppressed’ or ‘managed’ demand. Our energy deficit is increasing due to the rapid increase in demand in the domesic, ind

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