. .

Sep 10 - 16, 2001

Gas found near Sukkur

The Petronas the National Petroleum Corporation of Malaysia and joint venture partners Lasmo Oil Pakistan Limited and Government Holdings (Pvt) Limited have made their first gas discovery of 25.6 million standard cubic feet per day (mmsced) near Sukkur in Pakistan.

This was announced by the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin on Tuesday.

The minister congratulated the Petronas and its joint venture partners for this success and hoped that the consortium would continue their endeavours for more oil and gas discoveries in Pakistan.

This encouraging discovery was made on August 7, 2001 at the Rehmat-1 well in Block 2769-4 (Mubarak block) in Sindh Province. Rehmat-1 is the first exploratory well drilled by the consortium comprising Petronas subsidiary Petronas Carigali (Pakistan) Ltd, Lasmo and Government Holdings.

Petronas Carigali Pakistan is the operator of the block with 57 per cent equity while Lasmo and Government Holdings hold the remaining 38 per cent and five per cent interest respectively. The well is located about 65 km east of Sukkur town.

Rehmat-1 well was spudded on May 25, 2001 and reached a total depth of 3,536 meters on July 21, 2001.

A Drill Stem Test carried out has successfully produced gas at a maximum rate of 25.6 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd). The well has penetrated gas column in the Lower Goru Sandstone Formation. No gas water contact was encountered by this well.

Initial gas analysis indicates that the gas has a small amount of carbon dioxide and negligible hydrogen sulphide. Further detailed analysis is being carried out on the gas to determine the heating value.

Apart from the Muarak Block, Petronas Carigali Pakistan is also operator of two other oil and gas ventures in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, namely the East Kadanwari Block and the Mehar Block.

5.1pc more land for cotton crop: minister

Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Khair Mohammad Junejo has said that despite a shortage of irrigation water, cotton crop had been cultivated on 5.1 per cent more area this year as compared to last year.

Talking to newsmen on Monday, he said the director-general of Food and Agriculture Organization would arrive on Sept 10, to hold talks on ways and means to give further boost to the agriculture sector.

He said the government was considering handing over wheat trade to the private sector so that a healthy competition could be created in the market to benefit the growers.

Tea cultivation

The NWFP Tea Research & Development Cell has identified over 500,000 acres of land in Malakand and Hazara divisions as well as in the tribal areas suitable for tea cultivation over three times more than required to make Pakistan a major exporter of tea.

A senior official in the TRDC said that soil tests showed that in Swat, Shangla and Dir districts of Malakand; Mansehra, Batagram, Abbottabad and Kohistan districts of Hazara division and Orakzai and Kurram Agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) well suited to tea cultivation because it has been acidic and well drained. "The results have been very encouraging," Muhammad Hussain, incharge TRDC said.

He said that Pakistan required to bring 150,00 acres of land under tea cultivation to become self-reliant in tea. "We have been able to identify 536,117 acres of land for tea cultivation. "The potential land can be much more than this as we have yet to explore Chitral and North Waziristan Agency in FATA," Hussain said.

Pakistanis set up 75 units

Pakistani businessmen have set up at least 75 units, mainly textile factories, engineering and flour mills, in Kabul, Kandhar, Herat and Jalalabad. This was stated by Consul General of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mawlawi Rahmatullah Kakazada while talking to newsmen at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday.

President to open tea plant

President Pervez Musharraf inaugurated country's first tea processing plant set up by the Lever Brothers Pakistan Limited (LBPL) at Dhodial, Mansehra, says a press release.

The plant has a capacity to produce one ton tea per day. At present about 160 acres of farm land will provide green leaves for processing.

The LBPL has already injected more than Rs80 million in the tea growing project and planned Rs180 million more investment in next five years.

Saindak project will go to Chinese firm

Pakistan and China will sign a formal agreement on Sept 13 for the transfer of Rs16 billion Saindak Copper-Gold Project to a Chinese company on a 10-year lease.

Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin will lead a delegation of Pakistani authorities to Beijing next week to sign the agreement. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to this effect was signed during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji to Pakistan in May this year. The Chinese authorities had wanted that formal agreement should be signed in Beijing.

Development plan

The government on Thursday unveiled a 10-year perspective development plan (2001-11) which assumes Rs11.287 trillion investment flowing in over the next decade, supported by a three-year development programme (2001-04) of Rs1.979 trillion.

Briefing newsmen about the plans, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said that 22.5 per cent or Rs2.54 trillion of the total money would be provided by the public sector in the next ten years while 77.5 per cent or Rs8.747 trillion would come from the private sector.