ISLAMABAD (APP) - Chairman, Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood here on Monday underlined the need for exploiting the country's existing oil and gas potential to meet the growing energy demand. "A practical and effective strategy is needed on war-footing to cope with the prevailing situation and make the country self-sufficient in oil and gas sector," he said. Senator Talha was talking to media person after chairing the meeting of the sub-committee, which reviewed the present status of Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project and the issues still remained unsettled with Iran and causing delay in the execution of the project. He regretted that non-availability of gas to some industrial and power generating units is badly affecting the national economy besides rendering many people jobless and depriving them of basic necessity of electricity in the form of load-shedding. The Chairman said Pakistan has great un-tapped oil and gas reserves and if these are utilised properly there would be no need for importing gas or electricity. He stressed the need for setting up more national exploration companies on the pattern of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) to boost exploration and production activities in the country. Earlier, briefing the committee on IPI gas pipeline project, Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain said all modalities with regard to the project have been finalized except gas pricing formula. He apprised the committee about his recent visit to Iran and talks held with his Iranian counterpart and said there was a bit difference between the two countries over the gas pricing formula. Presently, Iran is demanding very high price, which is not affordable for Pakistan to be supplied to domestic consumers, he added. Dr. Asim said Pakistan and Iran would hold another round of dialogue on the proposed gas pipeline project in Islamabad during next month. He was of the view that all modalities of the project would be put before the Parliament for getting approval and then the deal would be done with Iran. The Advisor informed the committee that he has directed OGDCL for intensifying exploration activities and it has been given the task to drill at least 100 new wells. He also expressed concern over law and order situation in Balochistan and NWFP, which are keeping the companies away from exploration fields. Chairman of the committee directed Senators present in the meeting for playing their role in improving law and order situation there and ensuring un-interrupted access to companies to oil and gas fields. Dr. Asim Hussain said new petroleum policy is almost in final stage, which would be announced soon. He said in the new policy special focus is given to encourage investors. The gas reserves in the areas of Sui is depleting fast and the ministry is going to introduce deep well drilling system in the country for maximum utilization of our reserves, the Committee was told.