20 - 26, 2000
Oil, gas exploration accords signed
The government on Thursday signed two agreements
with international companies for onshore and offshore oil and gas
exploration. Onshore petroleum exploration licence was granted to the
joint venture of Union Texas (UT), Occidental Petroleum (OP), and
Government Holdings for exploration in Mehran Block No 2467-4 in the
Thatta district, covering about 577.42 sq-km.
The other licence was granted to Ocean Pakistan
(OP) and Government Holding for off-shore Makran Central Block No
2462-4, covering some 6,000sq-km.
The agreements were inked at a ceremony at the
Under the three-year licence, UT will conduct
geological and geophysical studies and acquire 70km of 3d seismic data
and drill four exploratory wells.
The block was awarded through a competitive bidding
process and UT was assigned the role of operator in the joint venture.
The total commitment in the Mehran Block is $5,070,000, according to
an official announcement.
Ocean Pakistan will carry out geological and
geophysical studies and acquire process, and evaluate a minimum of
200sq-km of 3d seismic data.
This survey will be part of a much larger 3D
seismic programme covering nearly 2,100sq-km in the three Makran
blocks operated by the company. The total cost of the overall
programme is estimated at over $10 million.
Union Texas has drilled 120 exploratory wells and
made 53 successful oil discoveries in Pakistan with the result that it
is now the largest oil producer in the country. Its total oil
production is 24,000 barrels a day and total gas production is about
200 million cubic feet a day. The UT is a wholly owned subsidy of the
BP Group, one of the world's largest oil and gas companies.
High prices affect DAP use
The DAP fertilizer offtake in country during
October has registered a sharp fall of 26 per cent as compared to last
year period, due to sharp increase of Rs200 per bag in its prices.
This was disclosed during the Fertilizer Review
Committee (FRC) meeting, met here on Thursday with Federal Agriculture
Minister Khair Mohammad Junejo in the chair. It was attended by
private importers, manufacturers and representatives of the provincial
Officials said the meeting expressed its serious
concern over such a drastic fall in the use of DAP fertilizer as the
farmers could not buy the commodity, due to its higher prices in the
It was noted that lesser use of fertilizer in the
month of October, when wheat crop was being cultivated in most part of
the country, would play havoc with the output of rabi crops, the wheat
A government official, who attended the meeting,
told that the Punjab government in particular was seriously offended
for not importing the DAP through Fertilizer Import Department (FID).
CPI up by 4.76% during July-Oct
The inflation (Consumer Price Index) went up by
only 4.76 per cent during the period July-October over the
corresponding period of last year, as reported by the Federal Bureau
of Statistics (FBS) on Monday.
The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) registered an
increase of 4.67% and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) by 4.55% during the
In 1999, FBS had shown CPI, SPI and WPI to have
inched up by 2.89%, 3.43% and 2.79%, respectively, in July-October,
During the month of October, 2000, CPI increased
further by 4.56% over the corresponding period of 1999. Disturbingly,
SPI which relates to the lowest paid employees, registered a much
higher increase in that month: 6.00%.
For the first time, the rise in WPI has exceeded
that of CPI and SPI - 6.16%. As WPI mostly captures the price
movements in respect of industrial raw materials, this increase is
indicative of further acceleration in the spiral of cost of living in
the months to come.
Uzbekistan seeks expertise in agriculture
The leader of the three-member Uzbekistan
agriculture delegation, Dr Alim Pulatov, has said that his country was
trying to make a break from the past in agricultural practices and was
seeking Pakistan's cooperation to facilitate the transition.
He told that a participatory Resource Conservation
Technology Project (RCTP), launched by the government of New Zealand
in Pakistan and Uzbekistan is a step in that direction.
Under the project, the government of New Zealand is
assisting the two countries in promoting resource conservation
technologies that have become vital in view of the growing scarcity of
resources in terms of availability of water, depletion of land and
rising cost of inputs.
A new policy being introduced by the government
will make it mandatory for all data collecting/ processing agencies in
the country to get ISO certification.
A government official told that ISO certification
is being made compulsory to enhance Pakistan's data credibility at
international level. Registration to ISO 9000 would also be necessary
for government, national and private organizations, who would use this
The policy said the ISO certification would assist
national and international users in seeking standard data, which would
fulfil their requirements.
Cyanamid to sell Lahore plant
Cyanamid (Pakistan) has proposed to sell its agro-chemical business
and the company's plant at Lahore. In a statement issued on Monday,
the company said that an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of
shareholders would be held on December 4 to pass a resolution allowing
the company to sell its agro-chemical division business,
"together with all the assets of whatsoever nature and wherever
situated of the said division of the company, from the existing set-up
so as to enable the company to focus on its core business more
advantageously, economically and profitably".