Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday emphasized upon the need for accelerating efforts to explore conventional and unconventional resources aimed at meeting energy needs of the country.

Addressing at the concluding ceremony of the first ever two-day International Conference on Unconventional Resources (ICOUR-I he said Pakistan had great energy resources and there was the need for consistent efforts to exploit them.

The conference was organized by NED University of Engineering, Technology, Pakistan and NorwegianUniversity of Science and Technology, NTNU, under the Framework Institutional Cooperation Program of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in collaboration with Petroleum Institute of Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that Pakistan was facing a huge gap between demand and supply of energy, saying that currently its total gas production was 4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) against the demand of 8 (Bcf/d) of gas, adding that the oil requirement was seven to eight times higher than the local, production.

Highlighting the efforts of the government in increasing oil and gas exploration activities, the Minister said a recent study had identified massive resources of Shale gas and oil in the country. As per the study, he said there were 188 TCF of gas and 58 BSTB of oil technically recoverable resource while the risked technically recoverable resources stood at 95 trillion cubic feet (TCF) gas and 14 billions of stock tank barrels (BSTB) oil as.

The Minister said Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) have been assigned the task to launch a pilot project to drill Shale gas and oil wells.

Later the members of the conference recommended development of shale and Tight Oil and Gas resources in Pakistan. Collaborative pilot projects to determine the quantity and development strategies by PakistaniState owned companies, OGDCL/PPL and the Norwegian State Oil Company, Statoil, was also recommended.

Members also recommended that the Shale Gas Policy Framework of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources should be tuned to provide conducive terms and conditions addressing environmental aspects and improved fiscal incentives to promote investment in the unconventional energy sector.

Norwegian Ambassador Tore Nedrebo also attended the conference.