23 April 2019
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Pakistan may soon hit the oil jackpot and that will be good news for not only the country itself but all of South Asia as well as China and Gulf nations.
There is a strong possibility that the country may discover a very big oil reserve in its waters.
If this prediction comes true, the discovery will help the South Asian country to tackle its economic problems, Global Times reported on Wednesday.
The US oil giant Exxon Mobil and Italy’s ENI have been involved since January in drilling an ultra-deep oil well.
Pakistan may have a more urgent need for foreign investment if massive oil reserves were indeed discovered.
There may be more international companies wanting to participate in related projects ranging from exploration to refining and logistics.
The related investment will help Pakistan maintain its growth momentum.
China has sound cooperation in energy with Pakistan.
A big oil find would stimulate investment enthusiasm among Chinese companies. China is willing to support Pakistan’s efforts to seize the development opportunity such a find might bring, and handle any challenges.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was originally conceived as a strategic project with oil and gas pipeline links between Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Gwadar port.
If Pakistan discovers massive oil reserves, that will be a motivation to extend Pakistan’s pipeline network further into neighbouring countries, and also to enhance energy cooperation with Gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia.
Not only China but also the whole region will benefit from economic integration through energy connectivity.
Using those reserves will likely result in large cross-border capital flows, infrastructure investment, energy trades, and people-to-people exchanges. The region will see the development and utilisation of oil reserves as a pillar of economic integration and stability.
The geopolitical picture in Asia has long been complex and uneven, but Pakistan’s potential oil reserves are likely a game-changer for the region, with economic cooperation in energy.
Hopefully, neighbouring countries and Gulf nations won’t ignore the opportunities to enhance energy cooperation with Pakistan and would help to foster an energy network in Asia.

Abdul Gh Lone

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