MEDIA reports say the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the American federal authority on energy statistics and analysis, has estimated fresh recoverable shale gas reserves of 105 trillion cubic feet (TCF) and more than nine billion barrels of oil in Pakistan.
These estimates of recoverable hydrocarbon reserves are many times larger than so far proven reserves.
If true it could be good news. But it could be a political message also from the US which has been trying to interfere in Pakistan’s ongoing energy projects in which they are not interested. The main issue is the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, of course.
Whatsoever maybe the truth behind this latest estimate, we should take it with a pinch of salt. First and foremost, we should stand by our commitments with others like Iran and China regarding energy projects.
Tall claims during electioneering were made by the PML-N. Now the party is in power, but economic revival and development of existing natural and mineral resources does not appear to be on their priority agenda, rather import of wheat, sugar, LNG from Qatar, bailing out of circular debt have surfaced as top priority agenda.
Transparency demands the government reveal the truth about the Saindak project, Reko Diq and Thar coal capability to produce energy as claimed by our eminent scientists.
The latest estimates about shale gas and oil reserves have, in addition to their economic impact, a political side also, which has to be kept in mind in the changing geopolitical scenario.
The development of the newly-discovered or estimated reserves will any way take time and money. We will need investment and should not decide this in a hurry which is anyway not how things are done in Pakistan.
ALI ASHRAF KHAN