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The News

Published Date: Mar 27, 2014

Shale gas, oil only recipe to cope with energy crisis

Development
of indigenous mammoth shale oil and gas reserves is the only sustainable solution to the energy crisis the country is facing since long, Syed Imtiaz Gilani, chairman of the Higher Education Commission and University of Engineering and Technology vice chancellor, said on Wednesday.

He was addressing the three-day workshop on “Sustainable solution of energy crisis via academia in Pakistan”; “Bridging government, industry and academia”.

The workshop
was held in joint collaboration with the Center for Advanced Studies in
Energy (CAS-E), University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar
and University of Cambridge, UK, and sponsored by the British Council Researchers Link Programme.

Gilani also said CAS-E should be placed at public policy level where consortium of international experts on energy should be gathered and present practical solutions.

He
also highlighted the importance of developing shale oil and gas for the
energy-starved country where the energy demands are mounting at an exponential rate, while the natural gas reserves are depleting at a faster pace.

The shale oil and gas resources, if developed, will be enough to meet the energy needs for more than 50 years and would help save $15 billion that were spent on importing petroleum products, he said.

“Moreover, the exploration phase being more labour intensive as compared to conventional resources will generate employment for around 750,000 people.”

The energy experts from the Cambridge University and leading Pakistani universities, including LUMS, NUST and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) deliberated on best practices of how experts in the field and academics are finding out solutions to the energy problems and
working together with the government in managing resource depletion and
alternative solutions on non-conventional energy sources.

SDPI Adviser Arshad Abbasi also launched a report on “Shale oil and gas: the lifeline of Pakistan” on the occasion.

Dr
Gulfaraz, chairman of the government’s Task Force on exploitation of shale gas, said that Pakistan has the potential of becoming ninth largest country in the world having shale gas resources, adding the task
force will come up with the shale gas policy soon for proper exploitation of this resource.

He urged academics, investors and the government to come at a common forum to bring out this
potential and turn this opportunity into reality.

Engr Arshad H Abbasi, senior adviser, Water and Power, SDPI, in the end stressed that the HEC chairman ought to be from an engineering background, as most of the problems related to energy, economics and water can be addressed only through engineering-oriented solutions.

He
also emphasised that in the absence of vigilant institute on water and energy, it is the prime duty of the HEC to formulate a think-tank on water and energy, as both of them have been included in the security paradigms.