OMV finds gas in Pakistan

Pakistan struggling to meet demand for energy.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Oct. 12, 2015 at 8:53 AM
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VIENNA, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said a new natural gas discovery in Sindh province in Pakistan means it could potentially boost production in the energy-starved country.

OMV announced the discovery of natural gas in the Latif South-1 exploration well in Pakistan. Preliminary testing yielded about 2,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

"We are very pleased with this exploration success," Johann Pleininger, an OMV board member in charge of exploration and production, said in a statement. "The appraisal and development of this discovery will potentially enable us to enhance the production in Pakistan."

Pakistan's aging infrastructure means the country lacks a reliable power sector. The Asian Development Bank last month backed a provisional assistance package of at least $1.2 billion per year on average through a partnership with Pakistan running through 2019.

The ADB described the status of the power sector in Pakistan as "crippling." The latest package includes support for the rehabilitation of the country's power transmission and distribution systems.

The bank in February said it was supporting efforts to help Pakistan build its first liquefied natural gas terminal with a $30 million loan. Through LNG, the bank said the Pakistan government would save about $1 billion per year on its fuel import bills.

ADB said in a development report for 2015 it expects Pakistan's economy to expand from 4.2 percent this year to 4.5 percent in 2016. Much of the regional economic growth is in part a reaction to lower oil prices, which benefits importing nations like Pakistan.

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