Discovery Of Oil In Pakistani Waters: What Should Be Done? What Should Be Avoided?

After Operation Zarb e Azb and with ongoing Operation Radd ul Fasad peace is being established, economy is growing and a bright future is ahead of Pakistan. Improving security conditions are attracting international investors in Pakistan.

A large number of investments are being attracted in different fields including oil & gas sector. Off-shore drilling has been started in January in well Kekra-I of Indus G-Block 230 km away from the coastal line. Previously, ENI an Italian company along with Pakistani OGDCL and PPL planned an off-shore drill to explore oil reserves which are expected to be larger than that of Kuwait and can take Pakistan to 6th position ahead of Kuwait in the list of countries having largest oil reserves. All three companies had 33% share each. However, in December, US energy giant ExxonMobil showed its interest in off-shore drilling and permission was granted to it and share re-distributed as 25% each for four companies.

As it was said that drilling will be completed in April/May, we are about the end of March and PM hinted about big good news to the nation, probably about the discovery of oil. Currently, Pakistan meets only 15% of its oil needs domestically and 85% of oil is imported which puts a heavy burden on Pakistani economy. If reserves are found it is expected to cater total oil requirement of the country and may export it as well.

This means a lot to Pakistan as country is facing a huge budget deficit of 18 billion USD with this discovery this burden on economy may be eased up-to a larger extent. On the other hand, it will create job opportunities for Pakistani people and we may see considerable growth. As Pakistan is a developing economy this discovery may provide boom for economy. Hence, it is a win-win situation for Pakistan.

DOs

Pakistan must have an eagle eye on the International Oil Mafia (IOM) for their evil intentions on oil. IOM are lusting for oil all across the world and would not leave Pakistan untouched or at least untried. There should be no compromise on national security. Proxies must not let flourish again in the disguise of development. Specially, Blackwater type organizations must be avoided. Propaganda against oil exploration has been started on social media to hurt people mentally about exploration and make it controversial before start. We must be aware of this and remain unheeded on anti-national narratives.

Pakistan should use income made from the oil immediately for the poverty alleviation. Wealth should be distributed to the poor so that they can improve their lifestyle. Recently, PM Khan has initiated a mega poverty alleviation program by the name EHSAS to improve the lives of the poor hence income made from oil may be useful in this program too.

Profits made from oil must be used for infrastructure and development program to increase national growth and improve national economy so that we may see an actual NAYA PAKISTAN.

Pakistan should use the profits by oil to increase gold reserves so that any upcoming economical fluctuation may not shake Pakistani economy. Russia, Turkey and India are increasing their gold reserves to have long time monetary stability so Pakistan should follow them and turn this black gold in real gold.

Laws must be made strict on corruption so that menace of corruption in general may be eradicated and corruption in oil would not start.

DONTs

As we all know that a US economy is in an irreversible decline supported by Russia and China ditching dollar, we should avoid petrodollar for oil exports. We should not repeat the mistake made by KSA in 1974 to agree Henry Kissinger and use dollar for oil exports and give birth to petrodollar instead of petroriyal. Using dollar will compel Pakistan to remain inferior to US because we would have on US’ mercy economically by using petrodollar.

Pakistan should not join OPEC as OPEC has become an oligarch organization where some lead and some follow. As an independent oil exporter Pakistan may avoid to embroil itself in the monopoly of OPEC and make contracts which are in our very national interests. Of course, not joining OPEC won’t affect KSA-PAK relations.

We hope for the best and pray that drilling get success and we get much more than expected so that we may grow.

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2 Comments

  1. Zafar Hussain says

    Pakistan should invest in renewable energy and gradually diminish its dependence on oil, gas, coal and nuclear power. Establish petrochemical industries. In addition to the investment for poverty elimination, it should invest in education and healthcare.

    1. Farhad says

      Very correct

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