ISLAMABAD   -   gainst the earlier estimate of $ 75 million cost, $150 million were spent on Kekra-I deep sea well but the venture failed to bear fruit.

While briefing the National Assembly standing committee on energy, official of Petroleum division said that  $150 were spent on the Kekra-I well but it produced no positive result. The 2nd meeting of the Standing Committee on Energy was held in chairmanship of Dr. Imran Khattak. Secretary Ministry of Petroleum apprised the Committee that the gas reserves are depleting, but after the inauguration of TAPI Gas Pipeline in October.2019, the situation of gas shortage will be improved considerably.

Secretary Petroleum said that currently there is no hope for big oil and gas discovery in the country. Asad Umar MNA, who is not member of the committee, also attended the meeting. Secretary petroleum said that there is Block 28 in Balochistan with the estimated reserves of 21TCF but it is too early to say anything in this regard. He said on Kekra-I $150 million were spent but it was failed. The initial estimate for drilling Kekra-I was $75 million which was upward revised to 100 million but now National Assembly Committee on Petroleum was informed that the actual cost of the well was almost double than the initial estimates.

Secretary Petroleum said that currently there is shortage of 4 to 6 BCF in the country. He said that work on TAPI will be started October this year.

Shazia Mari said that she is also the affectee of gas department. Despite gas producing district, Sanghar has not received gas during past five years. Article 158 of the constitution provides for the distribution of gas, she added. Noor Alam said that the government should not violate constitution in the provision of gas.

Akhter Mengal said despite gas exploration from Sui still all of the localities in the areas are not getting gas. Because of the Sui the name of the gas was kept Sui.

He demanded that the committee should be briefed that where the gas from Sui and Pirco is being supplied. He further said that that for the exploration work Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) is mercilessly cutting trees.

Asad Umar said that by not providing gas to the gas producing districts the government is clearly violating Article 158 of the constitution.

The PTI MNA and former finance minister said this while commenting on the issue of not provision of gas to Sui and other gas producing districts. He said that the gas shortage will continue in the next winter. There are technical hindrances in the provision of gas during winter, he added.

Sardar Talib Nakkai said that the government is using delaying tactics in the execution of the parliamentarians gas schemes. Chaudhry Barjees Tahir questioned that why the gas supply schemes started by the previous government were abandoned by the incumbent government.

The Ministry was asked to address concerns of members regarding development schemes of gas and electricity on priority. The Committee asked SNGPL and IESCO to strictly comply with the directions of their Regulatory Authorities by giving new connections to the residents of Islamabad.