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August 15, 1999

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade

Production begins at oil, gas well in Potwar

Regular production of oil and gas from another well at Sadqal, OGDC's ninth field in the Potwar region (Punjab) started on Wednesday.

Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (OGDCL) has made an oil and gas discovery at Sadqal Well-5, 40 km south-west of Islamabad, in District Attock. It was announced that daily production of oil is 2500 barrels and 18.5m cubic feet of gas per day.

Briefing the members of the NA Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, officials of ministry of Petroleum and OGDC informed that geologically it was very difficult area due to 'thrust faults' and added that OGDCL which is manned by 100% Pakistani engineers, had made discoveries at places where the foreign companies had decided to wind up.

Drilling of 2500 metre (2.5 km) well at Charrat, 7.5 km west of Sadqal was under process, and if successful it would be shallowest well in the area. The deepest well in the area was 4500 metre (4.5 km) in Sadqal. Drilling of one well costs $ 8 to 10 million.

Initially Sadqal structure was mapped on 2-D seismic data. Considering the hydrocarbon potential of the area and for better understanding of the structural configuration, 3-D seismic survey was carried out which showed exceptional results, especially for mapping the reservoir formation of Margalla Hill limestone which was not possible before on 2-D seismic and has been of great assistance for identifying different fault blocks within Sadgal structure, they said.

Sadqal gas production has been connected with the main SNGPL.

Plan to bring 4.3m acres under plough

The provincial government has envisaged a master plan to bring 4.30 million acres of potentially cultivable wasteland under plough to help boost agricultural production and meet food scarcity.

According to an official source, if cultivable wasteland is levelled and provided irrigation water can it substantially contribute to overall yields of wheat, sugarcane, cotton and rice other crops.

The source added that in order to achieve this target over a period of 20 years, at least 512 bulldozers and 1,006,670 tubewells would be required. Once accomplished, this would earn an additional revenue of Rs 4,206 million from the farmers.

Farm to market roads

The provincial minister for irrigation Ch. Muhammad Iqbal has said that the government is making allout efforts for the construction of roads from farms to grain markets to provide facilities to the growers for transporting their products well in time to obtain fair prices.

He said that Rs 30 million was allocated for both roads and construction work on these would be completed within the next few months.

New horticulture system

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is developing a new horticulture (fruits & vegetables) system which would generate jobs and alleviate poverty in the rural areas. According to PARC sources, Rs 700 million would be incurred on development of new farm technologies for production, preservation, processing and post harvest of horticulture crops.

Mill consumption to go up on export orders

Mill consumption of cotton is expected to rise to 8.4m bales during the current season ending Aug 31, '99 owing to a substantial increase in yarn export orders from the Near and Far Eastern during the last quarter since June.

The figure is based on an average monthly intake of 0.700m bales by the mill sector, with slight variations both sides depending on the export orders and local offtake by the ancillary industry.

'The figure is about a half million more than the last couple of years as about four dozen sick units resumed production after financial restructuring by the banks and some others are in line with sponsors efforts', official sources said.

Project to improve cotton-wheat rotation system

The government is expected to launch shortly a project to improve cotton-wheat rotation system including the increasing and sustaining the productivity of these two crops.

Sources said the project will be completed within a period of 5 years at an estimated cost of Rs 500 million.

Citing reasons for the introduction of this system, the official sources said that after a period of sound agricultural growth in Pakistan including the cotton and wheat, there were now visible indications that the cycle of growth is tapering off.

They said that the rotation system was showing signs of serious stress and its sustainability was in doubt.

Spinners lift 8,000 bales of old crop

Spinners on Saturday purchased another 8,000 bales of the much publicised old crop unsold cotton as ginners further lowered their asking prices to below Rs.2,200.00 per maund without 15 percent sales tax.

Some of the deals in the old crop were done around Rs.1,800.00 per maund depending on quality, which is said to the be lowest rate for the last two years.

The unsold stock of the old crop is depleting each day after ginners have reduced prices and according to spinners the total has fallen to 0.150m bales but ginners claim the figure of 0.225m bales.

Three big-lot deals of 3,300,1,800 and 1,700 bales from Khanpur and Toba Tek Singh were finalized at Rs.2,150.00, 2,075.00 and 1,800.00 per maund respectively.

A big rate differential in the selling prices reflects both the ginner perceptions about the developing siuation on the cotton front and deteriorating quality of the lint in trade, said an exporter.