ISLAMABAD, Dec 18: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Amanullah Khan Jadoon on Saturday said foreign petroleum companies and investors have expressed their keen interest to invest in Pakistan's oil and gas projects.

Talking to the newsman here, Amanullah Khan said that during a World Energy Conference held in Amsterdam, (Holland) recently, he also held talks with the Netherlands Minister for Development and Corporations Agnesevan Ardenne, Secretary of State for Housing and Environment, Pietervan Geel and President of Shell Petroleum Company, Jeroen van der Veer.

He discussed with them matters of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation.

He said he apprised them of the investment opportunities that exist in the Oil and Gas sector and the incentives being provided by Pakistan to the prospective investors in the offshore and onshore exploration.

He explained the salient features of measures taken by the government to de-regulate the petroleum sector and reforms introduced in this regard.

He highlighted the government's efforts for exploiting the untapped huge hydrocarbon resources in order to put the country on the road to self-reliance.

The Minister said that during the last five years the petroleum sector witnessed an unprecedented direct and indirect investment as a result of investor-friendly environment in Pakistan.

He invited the Netherlands, European investors and petroleum companies to participate in oil and gas activities including setting up coastal refinery, gas infrastructure development projects, privatization of state owned units and cross border gas pipeline project.

Talking to the Shell President, the minister appreciated this company's role for promoting the petroleum industry of Pakistan and hoped that it would further invest in the oil and gas exploration, upstream and downstream projects for the mutual advantage.

Jeroen Van der Veer appreciated the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan for the investors in the petroleum sector.-APP

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