Impact of different public E&P policies on natural gas reserves and production in Pakistan
Low wellhead domestic gas prices over the past few years have led to the beginning of a shortage in natural gas reserves and production in Pakistan. Gas demand steadily rises in all sectors for being an economical fuel as compare to substitutes. In the view of foregoing consumption trend, the demand for gas is expected to grow with a higher pace during the 2010s. On the contrary, indigenous gas reserves are running out and cannot keep up with the demand. This paper examines the extent of upstream activities in different petroleum policy regimes. The wellhead price for indigenous gas is compared with the prices of alternatives (for example, gas import prices). In order to put the problem in perspective, the relationship between wellhead gas price and cumulative gas reserves in Pakistan are analyzed and we find that the looming gas shortage can be ameliorated in the short-run and eliminated in the long-run through incentivized wellhead price. To put it briefly, the idea is mooted to first take advantage of huge domestic reserves to ensure competitive consumer prices for gas. The findings are applicable to several other economies with under-developed natural resources.
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