Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Asim Hussains disclosure in the National Assembly on Monday about the existence of new reserves of tight gas in Sui in Balochistan, which he joyfully stated were equivalent to already discovered reserves, is good news for our ailing energy sector. It was even more heartening to hear him give the assurance that the exploration and extraction work would not take more than three months. The only hitch appears to be that these reserves are lying underneath layers of hard rock but given hi-tech drilling equipment, extraction would be made easier. Mr Asim went on to state that the news about these reserves had deliberately not been made public in the past, which is not a good reflection on ministers who had previously been holding the portfolio of natural resources. Had they taken quick action to explore on learning of the find, it could have markedly reduced the supply and demand gap. Also he clarified that the countrys total gas reserves were not 29 trillion cubic feet but 100 trillion cubic feet. Among others, these massive reserves could minimise our dependence on oil whose import costs a lot of valuable foreign exchange. Most importantly, it would spare us the effects of frequent fluctuations of oil prices in the international market. For instance at present, oil prices in the US have dipped to a four-month low but still there are no signs that our government would make the adjustment accordingly. The OGRA wastes no time in jacking up the prices the moment they shoot up globally. This is enough argument to reduce our reliance on it. The public and private transport that runs on CNG would greatly benefit from cheaper supply of gas. Economy would get a boost. This could help bring down transport fares and prices of daily food items to the benefit of the poor masses. One hopes that the extraction work as assured by the Petroleum Minister would start as quickly as possible.