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Sep 04 - 10, 2000

Cotton target likely to be met

Pakistan is likely to achieve 10 million bales target of cotton this year as there is a bumper cotton crop in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

A target of eight million bales has been set for Punjab while two million bales will be produced in Sindh in the current cotton season, official sources said on Tuesday.

In Punjab, 5.8 million acres of land is under cotton cultivation while cotton has been cultivated on 1.5 million acres in Sindh.

In Punjab, weather conditions were suitable for the growth and development of cotton crop as sufficient rainfall in main cotton growing areas like Multan, Sahiwal, Faisalabad and Bahawalpur had favourable impact.

In Sindh, weather remained favourable for the crop but absence of rainfall affected the growth in lower and upper Sindh.

The supply of irrigation water has also improved now in Sindh province.

Vice President of Central Cotton Committee Dr.Barkat Soomro hoped that the target of two million bales would be achieved owing to good condition of crop in upper Sindh and middle Sindh cultivation areas.

In Punjab, cotton was expected to be cultivated on 5.684 million acres but is cultivated on six million acres, five per cent more than the said target.

Experts estimate, Punjab would produce one million bales more as 80 per cent cultivated crop is insect resistant.

They estimate that international markets are likely to purchase 91 million cotton bales this year, the highest demand in the last ten years.

The international market trends are very encouraging for Pakistan as significant escalation is expected in cotton prices, which can be 60 per cent on one pound.

Oil, gas discovered near Attock

A big oil and gas deposit has been discovered at Pariwali Well No.3, near Attock, by Pakistan Oilfields Ltd.(POL) at a depth of 15,264 feet. During testing, the well produced 2500 barrels oil of 39.2 degree API gravity and contained 8.3 MMcfd of natural gas at a flowing pressure of 1900 PSI.

The discovery is seen as most significant since it for the first time that the Dakh Pass horizon of the Palaeocene age is found to be oil and gas bearing.

Furthermore it has provided a new exploration target in Potohar basin which when put onstream would save US dollars 50 million in the country's oil import bill, official sources said.

Pariwali field was first discovered by POL as early as 1994 after side tracking of original Pariwali well No.1 drilled by the then joint venture operator Ms Occidental to a depth of 15,264 feet in the Sakeser formation of Eocene age.

Two tugs for navy launched

Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) on Tuesday launched 32 tons Bollard Pull Harbour tugs and 10 tons Bollard Pull Pusher tugs built for Pakistan Navy.

Vice Admiral (retd) H.M.S. Choudhri, the first CNC of Pakistan Navy, performed the launching ceremony on Tuesday. The tugs have been named as Joshila and Jafakash, respectively.

Pakistan Navy had placed an order for five tugs on KSEW last year comprising two of 32 tons Bollard Pull Harbour tugs, two of 10 tons Bollard Pull Pusher tugs and one of 36 tons Bollard Pull Harbour tug. The first tug of the series having 32 tons Bollard Pull was launched on August 1.

The remaining two tugs of the series would be launched by end of September and mid October. The final delivery of these tugs will commence from end September in order to complete the total order by February 2,001.

Water for Rabi crops assured

The Indus River System Authority (IRSA), on Thursday decided to supply irrigation water to the provinces instead of filling Tarbela Dam, it is reliably learnt.

WAPDA officials informed the meeting that for the first time in the last 24 years, the Tarbela Dam has not filled up this year. Its level on Thursday was reported at 1536 feet, 14 feet below the highest capacity level, a source said.

Officials of Sindh and Punjab stressed that instead of storing water in Tarbela for the Kharif crop, it should be released for the standing Rabi crops of rice and cotton.

Rice crop area in Sindh drops

The rice crop area in Sindh has dropped considerably this season due to numbers of factors including water shortage at the time of sowing. The insect pests may also be higher causing more damage during current season than previous years.

The rice cultivation in Sindh suffered serious set back due to ongoing water shortage. Moreover, the late sown rice crop is more prone to the attack of insect pests and diseases. Due to reduction in area, late planting of crop could lead to pest problem, the report said.

Coaches, light duty trucks launched

Fecto Group of Industries in collaboration with China FAW Group on Tuesday launched Shaheen Coaches and light duty trucks.

FAW Group has signed a technical licence agreement (TLA) with Fecto to start local production at the factory at Shikhupura Road near Lahore, said Chief Executive FECTO Group, Raza Fecto at the launching ceremony of the vehicles at a local hotel.

He said his company has also signed an agreement with FAW Group to import Shaheen coaches and light trucks and buses in completely knocked down (CKD) kits and completely built up (CBU) conditions.

Work on gas project to start soon

A Rs20-billion project to capitalize on new discoveries of natural gas in the South through augmentation of existing pipeline infrastructure and installation of new transmission pipelines will get under way shortly.

Officials of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources said on Friday, the government has already approved the project that will see laying of 390 km additional transmission pipelines across the country over the next three years.