Notwithstanding cross-border tensions, Pakistan and India are making joint efforts to increase co-operation on the energy front.
Pakistan, which is getting ready to offer 60 oil and gas exploration blocks in the next two months, said on Tuesday that it will discuss the possibility of offering some of them to Indian companies on a bilateral basis. The details would be discussed at a meeting with petroleum and natural gas minister S Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday, his Pakistani counterpart Asim Hussain said.
“We could also have cross-border pipelines, share refineries, products and data,” Hussain told reporters on the sidelines of Petrotech 2012. This, he said, is because there are certain reservoirs on the border that can be utilised by both countries.
Hussain also said that Pakistan will import diesel and petrol from India if it gets the “right price”. “A Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) team will come to Pakistan shortly to discuss prices,” he said.
Many Indian refineries — HPCL’s Bhatinda unit and those belonging to private sector Reliance Industries and Essar in Punjab and Gujarat — are located near the Pakistan border.
Plans are also afoot to set up a 200-km pipeline from Bathinda to Lahore for trade of petroleum products. At present, Pakistan meets most of its needs through imports from West Asian countries.