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Energy in Pakistan.

The oil demand is increasing at the rate of 10 per cent per year. it is estimated that by 1995 the demand for oil in Pakistan will be 18 million tonnes and by the end of the century 30 million tonnes. The country thus must have an adequate storage capacity for petroleum products and an efficient and speedy distribution system for the supply of these products throughout the country.

Ever since the advent of man on planet earth there has been a relentless pursuit by him to discover capture and harness energy. Man accidently ignited fire, domesticated animals to carry his burden, invented wheel to transport him and his burden easily. Caught the wind in the sails to travel on the rivers and the high seas.

In 1859 man ultimately discovered oil and that became the start of the petroleum industry. Ever since then man has engaged himself in civilising the hydrocarbon molecules and has developed more than 9500 petroleum based products. The tremendous industrial growth of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was made possible, in energy terms by two transitions, the transition from wood to coal, and the transition from coal to oil or petroleum. The cheapness, so called abundance and the flexibility of oil made it the main energy source for central heating and cooling in homes, petrol or diesel for transport or for a new power station to light the homes and the street. With the result that the world became predominantly dependent on oil.

The world oil demand at the beginning of the Second World War was 5.5 million barrels daily. At the end of the war in 1945 it shot up to 10 million barrels a day. In 1960 it was 20 million barrels a day. In 1970 it was 56 million barrels a day. And today it is 65 million barrels a day. The world seems to have an insatiable appetite for oil.

When Pakistan came into being in 1947, the total demand for oil, both for East and West Pakistan was 0.4 million tonnes or 2,732,000 barrels a year or 8033 barrels daily. Today it is 12.5 million tonnes or 88 million barrels or 260,000 barrels daily. Pakistan is not very lucky in the production of oil. Although the indigenous production has reached 70,000 barrels daily it hardly meets 30 per cent of the total oil requirements. So far 35 oil fields have been discovered in Pakistan but except Dhurnal oilfield which yields more than 16,000 barrels per day none other can be said to yield sizeable production per day.

Pakistan's oil recoverable reserves according to Economic Survey of the Government for the year l990-91 are of the order of 154.44 million US barrels, which at the current rate of daily requirement can hardly last for three years. Oil provides 42% of the total commercial energy. There are 43 gas (including associated gas fields) finds in Pakistan and the average daily production during July-March 1990-91 was 10817.60 million cubic meters. The total recoverable gas reserves are estimated at 557.8362 cubic meters which in the light of daily consumption cannot last beyond 37 years, according to the latest Economic Survey.

The coal of Pakistan is not of a very good quality and has its own problems of full utilization. The annual production and consumption of coal is 240,000 tonnes and contributes only 5.20 per cent to the total commercial energy needs. The coal resources are estimated to be 9,000 million tonnes. Hydroelectricity is dependent on mother nature. The installed hydel capacity is 2897 MW while the thermal installed capacity is 4620 MW. Thus oil remains by and large the feedstock for power generation.

The oil demand is increasing at the rate of 10 per cent per year. It is estimated that by 1995 the demand for oil in Pakistan will be 18 million tonnes and by the end of the century 30 million tonnes. The country thus must have an adequate storage capacity for petroleum products and an efficient and speedy distribution system for the supply of these products throughout the country.

There are limits to road and rail transportation of oil. Both the modes of transportation have reached the saturation point. It is, therefore, important that a well thought-out pipeline transportation system be laid.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Economic Review
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:725
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