Pakistan's Blue Economy: Vast Offshore Resources in Exclusive Economic Zone

Pakistan has a 1,000 kilometers long coastline on the Arabian Sea with maritime sovereignty over 200 nautical miles deep Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 150 nautical miles of Continental Shelf. This adds 290,000 square kilometers of sea or about 36% of the country's land area open for tapping vast resources in it.

Pakistan's "Blue Economy" in this extended economic zone includes seafood and energy resources as well as international trade connectivity with the rest of the world. It offers opportunities for water sports, recreation and tourism in the coastal areas of Pakistan. One sign of the recognition of Pakistan's blue economy is the ongoing three-day International Maritime Conference organized on the theme of ‘Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region’ under the auspices of National Institute of Maritime Affairs.

Offshore Energy Resources:

A Pakistan Basin Study conducted in 2009 found that the country has six onshore and two offshore basins; offshore basins being the Indus basin and the Makran basin in the Arabian Sea.

Top 3 Offshore Drilling Sites in Asia-Pacific. Source: Bloomberg
The Indus offshore basin is a rift basin that geologists say developed after the separation of the Indian Plate from Africa in the late Jurassic period. It is believed to be the second largest submarine fan system in the world after the Bay of Bengal with high probability of hydrocarbon discoveries.

The Makran Offshore basin is separated from the Indus Offshore basin by Murray ridge, according to Syed Mustafa Amjad's report in Dawn. It is an oceanic and continental crust subduction zone with deepwater trenches and volcanic activity. The basin consists of oceanic crust and periodic emergence of temporary mud islands along the coast suggesting strong evidence of large hydrocarbon deposits.

American energy giant Exxon-Mobil has joined the offshore oil and gas exploration efforts started by Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Italian energy giant ENI, according to media reports.

Each company has 25% stake in the joint venture under an agreement signed at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in May 2018 among ExxonMobil, Government Holdings Private Limited (GHPL), PPL, ENI and OGDC.

Exxon-Mobile's entry in Pakistan brings deep offshore drilling technology, its long experience and financial resources to the country. It is expected to accelerate exploration and more discoveries.

CPEC and Trade:

Pakistan has built Gwadar as its third major deep sea port after Karachi and Port Qasim. Gwadar port's planned capacity when it is completed will be 300 to 400 million tons of cargo annually.  It is comparable to the capacity of all of India's ports combined annual capacity of 500 million tons of cargo today.   It is far larger than the 10-12 million tons cargo handling capacity planned for Chabahar.

"We believe Gwadar is following in the footsteps of Shenzhen which represented a historic population rise, from a population of 30,000 in 1980 to 11 million people in 2017. Gwadar is poised to see massive population growth due to incoming industries, and we expect this to be one of the most strategic cities in South Asia." Hao-Yeh Chang,  China Pak Investments Corporation

To put Gwadar's scale in perspective, let's compare it with the largest US port of Long Beach which handles 80 million tons of cargo, about a quarter of what Gwadar will handle upon completion of the project. Gawadar port will be capable of handling the world's largest container ships and massive oil tankers.

Gawadar port is being built in Pakistan by the Chinese as part of the ambitious $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that will eventually serve as Hong Kong West for  growing Chinese trade with the Middle East and Europe.  CPEC will also enable Pakistan to bypass Afghanistan to trade with Central Asia through China across China's borders with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

The volume of Gwadar property searches surged 14-fold on Pakistan’s largest real estate database,, between 2014 and 2016, up from a prior rate of a few hundred a month. “It’s like a gold rush,” said Chief Executive Zeeshan Ali Khan to an Express Tribune newspaper reporter. “Anyone who is interested in real estate, be it an investor or a developer, is eyeing Gwadar.”

Chinese private investment company China Pak Investment Corporation has recently announced it is acquiring 3.6 million square foot International Port City project in Gwadar. It plans to develop a $150 million gated community to handle the influx of 500,000 Chinese professionals expected in Gwadar by 2022.

Seafood Industry:

Pakistan’s fishing industry is very small relative to its vast potential. Pakistani fishermen own small fishing boats and their catch is very limited. The industry contributes only 0.4% of the country's $315 billion GDP.   However, the nation's seafood exports are growing, In fiscal year 2017-18, seafood exports increased 27.94% to 198,420 tons, earning $451.026 million.

Pakistani finishing industry is in  need of major modernization to make it more productive. China’s infrastructure investments in Pakistan are opening up the local fisheries sector on the Arabian Sea, with a major Chinese power station builder completing a fishing port as a “gift” to local people, according to a report in SeafoodSource. State-owned China State Power Investment Corp., which is building several power plants in Pakistan, said a new fishing port in Lasbela region on the Arabian Sea would aid the economy and increase the efficiency of the local fishing community in Baluchistan Province (of which Lasbela is part), says the report.


Pakistan is beginning to focus on tapping vast resources in its 290,000 square kilometers of sea or about 36% of the country's land area.  Fishing industry is being modernized with Chinese help and Exxon has begun exploring offshore oil and gas reserves. Gwadar has been built as the third deep sea port and a major new metropolis is being built t hat could one day rival Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

US EIA Estimates of Oil and Gas in Pakistan

Gwadar to Rival Shenzhen

Exxon Exploring Offshore Oil and Gas in Pakistan

Why Blackouts and Bailouts in Energy-Rich Pakistan?

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


Afridi said…
What kind of authority we have on the continental shelf? Can we stop other countries ships from passing through this area or tax that area if they want to pass through it etc?
Riaz Haq said…
Afridi: "What kind of authority we have on the continental shelf? Can we stop other countries ships from passing through this area or tax that area if they want to pass through it etc?"

An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a sea zone prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from its coast. In colloquial usage, the term may include the continental shelf. The term does not include either the territorial sea (22.2 km) or the continental shelf beyond the 200 nmi limit. The difference between the territorial sea (22.2 km) and the exclusive economic zone is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a "sovereign right" which refers to the coastal state's rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters, as can be seen in the map, are international waters.
Riaz Haq said…
#Aman19: #Pakistan #Navy’s expanding influence. The 46-nation naval exercise further cemented PN’s role as a leading and professional naval force not only in the #ArabiaSea region but also in the larger area of the #IndianOcean.

KARACHI: PNS Aslat and Saif fire a volley from their main guns towards a target buoy 4,500 yards away as helicopters buzz overhead and warships maneuver in the Arabian Sea during the culminating phase of Aman-19, the largest multinational exercise ever hosted by the Pakistan Navy (PN).

With participation from 46 navies, the exercise further cemented PN’s role as a leading and professional naval force not only in the Arabia Sea region but also in the larger area of the Indian Ocean.
With geopolitics undergoing a major realignment phase, the navy has become a major tool to project force, create goodwill throughout the region and increase Pakistan’s influence in the region.

“Now, we match India in terms of presence. If the Indian Navy has been to an area in the Indian Ocean, the Pakistan Navy is present there too,” said a senior PN officer.

The focus on further bolstering the combat capability of the PN is evident with the recent agreement to purchase eight submarines and four 054AP class warships from China.

On the final day of Aman-19, warships of the PN and foreign participating navies, including the Royal Navy, US Navy and the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), came together to showcase the level of coordination achieved over days of drills at sea.

The drills kicked off by PN ships launching rocket depth charges at a simulated submarine target.

Pakistan-made PNS Moawin – the largest ship in the fleet – took centre stage during the second drill as it refueled ships while underway. PNS Aslat and PNS Saif took a position on either side of the fleet tanker the drill started. Underway refueling and replenishment is considered to be one of the most dangerous activities carried out at sea and extreme care was taken by PN personnel during the drill.

Gunnery demonstrations were also carried out by PN, Turkish Navy and (Chinese) PLAN (Navy) warships, and round after round from their main guns were thrown downrange towards target buoys with precision and speed.

As the drills ended, all participating ships presented a fleet review to the chief guest. Flying Pakistani colours – as a sign of respect – and their national flags, foreign and PN ships sailed past the chief guest during the phase.

Turkish frigate TCG Gokceada, PLAN’s Kunlun Shan and Luoma Hu, United Kingdom’s HMS Dragon, Royal Australia Navy’s Ballarat, American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Decatur, Sri Lanka’s off-shore patrol vessel SLNS Sayurala, Royal Malaysian Navy’s support ship KD Mahawangsa and KD Kasturi, Italian Navy’s Carlo Margottini, Royal Navy of Oman’s Al Rahmani PNS Aslat, Saif, Shamsheer, Khyber, Azmat, Alamgir and Pakistan Maritime Security (PMSA) ships Kashmir, Zhob, Himmat and Basol were part of the fleet review.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Aims To Become A Natural Gas Hotspot. It has estimated conventional #gas reserves of 20 trillion cu ft and #shale gas reserves exceed 100 trillion cu ft, making it attractive to foreign #energy investors. #FDI #oilprice

Pakistan is eager to open up its gas deposits to foreign energy companies in a bid to boost domestic production amid soaring demand, two government officials told media this week. The country has trillions of cubic feet in natural gas reserves, and although some of these have been exploited, the last decade has seen an outflow of foreign energy investors because of Islamist violence. Is the worst over?

Pakistan, a country with a fast-rising population, has recently been plagued with power outages largely resulting from a shortage of fuel necessary to keep its power stations going. Imports of gas and LNG are on the rise, but Imran Khan’s government seems to be aware that domestic production is almost invariably cheaper.

As a result, Pakistan is now preparing to start tendering gas blocks to all parties interested in exploration.

“I expect in the second half of this year we will be auctioning at least 10, if not 20 blocks for exploration,” the head of the government’s task force for an energy reform, Nadeem Babar, told Reuters earlier this week. He added that the government was in the process of making changes to its natural gas exploration and production regulations and drafting the country’s first ever shale resource policy.

“Pakistan provides a level playing field for all the E&P companies and even state-owned companies also have to participate in bidding rounds and compete with other companies,” said the country’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources as quoted by The News International.

Pakistan imports nearly 80 percent of energy requirements from the international market. The country’s demand for energy has been increasing by 8 percent a year,” Ghulam Sarwar Khan also said, adding the government was doing its best to make Pakistan a more investor-friendly country as part of efforts to change the status quo in energy supply and demand.

Pakistan has estimated conventional gas reserves of 20 trillion cu ft and shale gas reserves exceed 100 trillion cu ft, which certainly makes the country an attractive destination for gas drillers as long as the security situation remains stable.

So far, the authorities have delineated more than 30 gas blocks, all onshore, Babar also told Reuters. If these attract sufficient interest, they could go a considerable way towards reducing the gas shortage plaguing the country, where demand for gas for 2017/18 was calculated at 6.9 billion cu ft daily, exceeding production by almost 3 billion cu ft.

With such demand levels—and rising, too—Pakistan is naturally an attractive destination for gas exploiters. Russia, Iran, and Qatar are all large suppliers. Earlier this week, Pakistani media reported government officials were negotiating an increase in Qatari LNG imports from 500 billion cu ft daily to 700 billion cu ft daily. Last month, the government inked an import deal with Gazprom for 500 million to 1 billion cu ft daily.

The country also recently completed two LNG import terminals but the super-cooled fuel is more expensive than Islamabad would like, especially given its level of import dependency.

According to Nadeem Babar, Aramco, Gazprom, and Exxon have already expressed interest in some of the blocks to be auctioned later this year. Italy’s Eni is already active in Pakistan and may join the bidders along with others attracted by the underexplored resources in the country where one of three wells yields commercial gas.
Riaz Haq said…
#ImranKhanPrimeMinister has seen high-confidence data indicating large #oil, #gas reserves. There's "kick pressure" from oil/gas in drilling. It was strong kick pressure that forced #ExxonMobil to stop #drilling for more mud to prevent blow-out. #Pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
Early indications are it’s a gusher from large #oil #gas reserves offshore in #Pakistan. That’s why #Exxon had to interrupt drilling and prepare to prevent dangerous blow out in Arabian Sea off the coast of #Karachi …
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s massive #oil and #gas discovery report expected in April 2019. Experts believe huge hydrocarbon deposits offshore, enough for 25 to 30 years. Estimated gas reserves are 3 to 8 trillion cubic feet (TCF), 25-40% of country’s total gas reserves.

Dubai: Pakistan will announce the discovery of massive oil and gas reserves in the next three weeks, said an official.

A consortium of four leading companies led by US-based ExxonMobil, which has started drilling in ultra-deep waters offshore Karachi, is likely to submit its report by April, Pakistan’s official news agency APP reported on Thursday.

The consortium has claimed it has discovered massive oil and gas reserves offshore Indus G-Block called Kekra-I some 230-km off the Karachi coast.

Gulf News earlier reported that the location of the reserves is near Iran borders. On Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had also hinted at finding ‘massive’ oil reserves off the coast of Karachi.

He said he would soon share good news with the nation. He had said Pakistan would not need to import oil after the offshore reserves are found.

“Steady drilling is in progress and there are ‘good symptoms’ about the success of the project. Currently, more than 4,000 metres of vertical drilling has been completed. Drilling is under way horizontally against the target of around 5,500 metres,” the official said.

Experts believe that there are huge hydrocarbon deposits, sufficient for the country’s needs for 25 to 30 years. The energy scarce nation is anxiously waiting for good news.

The official said exploration activity is continuing round-the-clock by a highly skilled team of more than 200 professionals with periodical tests of specimens conducted after almost every 1,000-metre drill.

The well’s diameter is 18 to 24 inches and companies had set the target depth of 5,500 metres, the official said, adding that the discovery is anticipated to yield gas flows which could be ‘as big as Sui field’. Estimated reserves are three to eight trillion cubic feet (TCF), or 25-40 per cent of the country’s total gas reserves.

The official said the country is in dire need of a big discovery as existing hydrocarbon reserves are depleting fast and its reliance on imported gas and oil is increasing with each passing day.

According to data of a recent study, existing deposits in Pakistan will further deplete 60 per cent by the year 2027. It underlined the need to step up exploration in potential areas on a war-footing.

The offshore drilling is a joint venture of ENI, Exxon Mobil, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited. In December 2018, Exxon Mobil had announced that it would reinvest in the Pakistani market after a gap of nearly three decades.

According to media reports, if oil deposits are discovered as expected, Pakistan will be among top 10 oil-producing countries.

Pakistan currently meets only 15 per cent of its domestic petroleum needs with crude oil production of around 22 million tons; the other 85 per cent is met through imports.

The country is facing a huge current account deficit of up to $18 billion and is spending a substantial amount of foreign exchange reserves on import of oil. The import bill of Pakistan rose by to $12.928 billion in the July-May 2017-18 period of the last fiscal year.
Riaz Haq said…
Tighter #Fiscal/#Monetary Policies To Weigh On Short-Term Growth In #Pakistan. #GDP to slow to 4.4% in FY2018/19 (July-June) and 4.1% in FY2019/20 due to negative impact from recovering #oil prices , from 5.4% in FY2017/18. #economy

Key View

We at Fitch Solutions maintain our forecast for Pakistan’s real GDP to slow to 4.4% in FY2018/19 (July-June), from 5.4% in FY2017/18, due to tightening monetary and fiscal conditions.
Additionally, rising geopolitical tensions and slowing global growth will likely also dampen Pakistan’s economic outlook for the remainder of FY2018/19.
We maintain our view for growth to come in at 4.1% in FY2019/20 as we expect the negative impact from recovering oil prices to outweigh the positives that will cushion the slowdown.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan hikes #fuel prices 6.45% amid spiraling #inflation measured at 8.21% last month. #economy @AJENews

Pakistan's government has hiked fuel prices by up to 6.45 percent, as the country continues to face widening fiscal and current account deficits amid spiralling inflation.

On Monday, countrywide fuel prices increased to Rs98.89 ($0.70) per litre, with diesel prices at Rs117.43 ($0.83), a government notification said, hitting nine-month highs.

Pakistan subsidises the price of most fuels in the country, but has been cutting those payments in recent months as the newly elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government struggles to contain ballooning government expenditure amid an overall economic slowdown.

In the past six months, the country has received at least $8 billion in grants and loans from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and key strategic and economic partner China, with whom Pakistan is embarking on the $56bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The influxes have helped stave off a looming foreign reserve crisis, with central bank reserves back up to $8.56bn, or just over two months of imports, according to a central bank statement released on Thursday.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund’s Pakistan mission chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo held two days of meetings with Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar, central bank officials and others ahead of an expected IMF bailout.

The bailout, which both Pakistani PM Imran Khan and IMF chief Christine Lagarde alluded to after a meeting in February, would be Pakistan’s 13th IMF programme since 1980.

Spiraling inflation
The fuel price hike comes amid spiralling consumer inflation in the South Asian country, with consumer price inflation (CPI) hitting 8.21 percent last month, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the highest level since June 2014.

The inflation numbers have been mainly driven by the increasing prices of fuel and food, according to a PBS statement.

Pakistan battles to control inflation
On Friday, Pakistan’s central bank increased the country's interest rates by 50 basis points to 10.75 percent, saying that the economy was uner considerable strain.

"The current account deficit remains high, fiscal consolidation is slower than anticipated and core inflation continues to rise," said a statement accompanying the announcement.

As a result, the central bank has pared back its expected annual GDP growth rate projection from around 6 percent to 3.5 percent.

"The increase in petrol and diesel prices tend to raise inflationary expectations among consumers," said Saad Ali, head of research at Karachi-based Inter Market Securities. "Almost all sectors are affected by it, because in Pakistan most goods are still transported via road."

Ali said the central bank was currently attempting to discourage non-essential imports by raising interest rates and through currency devaluation. The Pakistani rupee has lost roughly 23 percent of its value against the US dollar in the last year.

"The initial problem that we had was a wide current account deficit and resultant depletion of forex reserves," said Ali.

"The current account deficit was widening because of consumer demand and robust industrial activity – both leading to higher demand for imports – so to curtail that the central bank had to first devalue the currency and increase interest rates," he added.

Ali said the measures taken thus far had managed to bring the current account deficit to a more manageable level, but that rising inflation continues to pose a significant threat to the economy.

"All of this is a reflection of the central bank trying to curtail demand," he said. “This will lead to modest GDP growth, but that will be a sign that they have been successful."
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s #Gwadar International #Airport will be the largest in the country. Spread over an area of 4,300 acres, it will be able to land Airbus #A380, the biggest wide-body passenger #aircraft. #Balochistan #China #CPEC

The construction of the airport will be completed within three years at the cost of US$256million.

Unlike other projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are operating under concessional loans, the Airport is planned under a Chinese grant.

The airport will also be the biggest in Pakistan at an area of 4,300 acres.

It will be the biggest airport of Pakistan. In comparison to other airports like Karachi Airport (3,700 acres), Islamabad International Airport (3,600 acres), Lahore Airport (2,800 acres), the Gwadar Airport will be built on 4,300 acres.


The airport is one of several development projects in Gwadar worth $690 million which the Chinese government is financing as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

The project is part of overall infrastructure development of Balochistan. It would be developed as a green-field facility with all modern facilities for safe operation.

The project would comprise a modern terminal building with cargo terminal having initial handling capacity of 30,000 tons per year.

On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for construction of Pakistan and China Vocational Training Institute and Pak-China Friendship Hospital.

Prime Minister Imran thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the grant given by the Chinese government for the airport.

Benefits to local people
He categorically said any development would be of no use unless it benefited the local people.

He said in the past, the locals were ignored while executing the development projects in Balochistan. He said gas worth billions of rupees was extracted from Sui but it could not change the living standard of the local people.

He said it was pleasing that the capacity of the hospital in Gwadar would be enhanced and a vocational training institute would also help create employment opportunities.

Prime Minister Imran announced to launch Insaf Sehat Card (health card) to provide health insurance cover worth Rs720,000 to every family.

He said previously power was being transmitted from Iran, but now the government had decided to link the area with national grid.

Desalination plant
A desalination plant would also be set up in the city and under Clean and Green Pakistan, one million saplings would be planted. Besides, a solid waste management system would also be established to protect the area from pollution.

He said following the models of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the government had decided to recycle water in Gwadar to water the plants.

He told the gathering that Gwadar and Quetta would be linked through railways as it was the best travel mode but unfortunately Pakistan had been lagging behind in this sector.

Rail links
He said Chinese support was being sought to upgrade railway lines as China had the most advanced rail system. A high-speed rail link would cut travel time bewteen Karachi and Lahore to within four hours, instead of 18 hours by car, or 21 hours by bus at the moment.

Khan said having located at an ideal location and being well connected, Gwadar’s development would be the development of whole of Pakistan.

During the development process of the new airport, the existing airport’s capacity would also be enhanced by making it capable of transporting big aircrafts.

With the establishment of new international airport, the Gwadar city would become hub of aviation industry and it would also help elevating the CPEC framework.
Riaz Haq said…
Great Game Moves to Sea: Tripolar Competition in #IndianOcean. The dynamics of intensifying competition — #military, #economic, #diplomatic — in #SouthAsia, mainly between #China, #India, #Pakistan, and #UnitedStates. #CPEC #pakistannavy @WarOnTheRocks

Each state’s approach to the increasingly crowded Indian Ocean environs is informed by history, economic interests, and simple geography. Three significant divergences in the three countries’ frameworks are their perspectives on the Middle East, Pakistan’s regional role, and the balance between military and non-military foreign policy tools. Friction resulting from any of these divergences – what I call geo-strategic seams – could undermine the success of any one of these national strategies for the Indian Ocean arena. Ultimately, China’s more integrated strategy may give it an edge over America’s more disjointed approach and India’s more inward focus.


India, sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean, defines the region as extending from the African littoral to Southeast Asia. In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi put forward “Security and Growth for All in the Region,” or SAGAR, as an early, high-level articulation of the Indian vision. In 2017, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj specifically defined the region as extending from the Gulf of Aden in the west, through Chabahar Port in southwest Iran, and over to Burma and Thailand in the east. Notably, India does not view Pakistan as a part of this regional cooperation strategy, instead seeing it as an enemy. Similarly, India tries to isolate its long history of land border disputes with China from its wider policy towards the Indian Ocean, even though countering Beijing is one of New Delhi’s goals.

India’s focus on the Indian Ocean area is relatively new, dating back only to the 1990s. For most of the period since it gained independence in 1947, India has been preoccupied with land border threats posed by Pakistan and China, and has apparently lacked the ambition and capacity to exert influence beyond its immediate neighbors.


Unlike with India’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific, however, Pakistan is a central element of China’s approach, linking the maritime and continental components of the Belt and Road Initiative. India, and to a lesser degree the United States, views Pakistan as a declining power that should be internationally isolated for its support of terrorism. In contrast, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of the most important elements of the Belt and Road since it provides a direct land bridge from China to the Arabian Sea and allows trade access to support economic development in China’s restive west. Illustrating its priorities, China has promised some $60 billion to develop this corridor and has already made substantial investments in Pakistan focusing on energy and transport infrastructure, including the port of Gwadar in western Pakistan. While some doubt the viability of many of these projects, this investment clearly reflects Beijing’s view that Pakistan is essential to its regional strategy.
Riaz Haq said…
2019 #Oil and #Gas Exploration Off to Flying Start. Eni’s Kekra well in #Pakistani waters has pre-drill prospective resource estimates of 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent. #exxonmobil #Pakistan #offshore | Rigzone via @rigzone

Oil and gas exploration is off to a flying start in 2019, according to independent energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy.

Global discoveries of conventional resources in the first quarter reached 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), Rystad revealed Monday in a statement sent to Rigzone. Most of the gains were recorded in February, which saw 2.2 billion barrels of discovered resources, Rystad highlighted.

Majors reported more than 2.4 billion boe of the discovered resources for the quarter, Rystad outlined in the statement. ExxonMobil was the most successful, with three offshore discoveries accounting for 38 percent of total discovered volumes.

“If the rest of 2019 continues at a similar pace, this year will be on track to exceed last year’s discovered resources by 30 percent,” Rystad Upstream Analyst Taiyab Zain Shariff said in the company statement.

The total volume of global conventional discoveries in 2018 was 9.1 billion boe, according to Rystad. Total global conventional discoveries were 10.3 billion boe in 2017 and 8.4 billion boe in 2016.

No Signs of Slowing Down
In the statement, Rystad said the push for “substantial” new discoveries shows no signs of slowing down, with another 35 “high impact” exploration wells expected to be drilled this year, both onshore and offshore.

Rystad highlighted that three such wells are already underway; the Shell-operated Peroba well off Brazil - with pre-drill prospective resource estimates of 5.3 billion boe, Eni’s Kekra well in Pakistani waters -with pre-drill prospective resource estimates of 1.5 billion boe and the Total-operated Etzil well off Mexico -with pre-drill prospective resource estimates of 2.7 billion boe.

“If these wells prove successful, 2019’s interim discovered resources will be the largest since the downturn in 2014,” Shariff stated.

Earlier this year, Rystad said improved market conditions and lower well costs had led exploration and production players to “ramp up” their 2019 exploration activities in all parts of the world.

“Renewed optimism in exploration activities is anticipated in 2019, with operators from various segments aiming for multiple high-impact campaigns – both onshore and offshore – in essentially all corners of the world,” Rystad Energy Senior Analyst, Rohit Patel, said in a company statement back in February.

“These include wells targeting large prospects, play openers, wells in frontier and emerging basins and operator communicated high impact wells,” Patel added.

Rystad is headquartered in Oslo and has locations in Houston, Singapore, London, New York, Sydney, Moscow, Stavanger, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Dubai and Bangalore. The company traces its roots back to 2004.
Riaz Haq said…
Jinnah Naval Base – Navy expands strategic outreach to West Coast, Persian Gulf

The base is situated 350 km west of Karachi and 285 km east of the Gwadar Port, and has been connected with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“With the development of this base, Pakistan has acquired the capacity to secure naval trade in these waters. Moreover, we have expanded Pakistan naval forces’ outreach towards the west coast into the Strait of Hormuz where all the oil traffic flows in and out,” an officer at the base told Pakistan Today during a recent visit to the base at Ormara which is otherwise restricted for media.

“Karachi would remain our focus for the foreseeable future. However, Jinnah base would reduce reaction time of Pakistan Navy to six to 8 hours in case of any adversity,” the officer said, adding that the base had a berthing facility “for anything from warships to submarines and from heavy ships to warplanes”.

Asked whether or not Gwadar would also act as a naval base for Pakistan, the officer said that Gwadar would act purely as a commercial base.

“Though Pakistan Navy has a small base at Gwadar, its main focus would be security of Gwadar. Jinnah base, on the other hand, would be a purely naval base which would help maritime forces monitor the entire coastal area from Ormara to the Gulf waters,” the officer said.

Rear Admiral (r) Pervez Asghar, an expert on naval defence, told Pakistan Today that Pakistan Navy had developed four bases along the coastal areas of Balochistan including Ormara, Pasni, Jewani and Gwadar which had helped expand its ‘strategic outreach’ towards the west coast.

“In the past, we only had one [naval] base at Karachi and our military installations were vulnerable to any Indian adventure. However, with the development of these new bases towards the west coast, not only do we have alternative options to defend our positions, our reaction time has also decreased significantly in case of any attack,” the retired naval admiral said.

He said that the navy now also had a submarine base at Ormara. “We have developed Pakistan marine corps to thwart enemy designs of amphibious landing around the coastal areas,” he added.

“Pakistan Navy is now well placed to secure all sea lines of communications (SLOCs) emanating from the Persian gulf towards Pakistan. Moreover, the naval infrastructure including Radars and communication gadgets, have now been able to overlap each other – a capability we had severely missed in the past,” he added.

He said that the new bases had also helped secure Gwadar Port as there was no military presence on the port due to its being commercial in nature.

“Now, navy’s special forces are better placed in Ormara to secure Gwadar Port and nearby sea routes. Moreover, Ormara base would also help neutralise the enemy’s narrative that they would be able to block Karachi’s harbour in case of a showdown,” he added.

Asghar said that Pakistan had also developed a jump-off base for Pakistan’s maritime aircraft at Pasni.

He said that Pakistan Navy had recently raised another naval station at Turbat, namely PNS Siddiq for P-3c Orion aircraft.

“These P-3cs are capable of flying over 14 hours nonstop without refueling. They have stealth technology and can fly below the radar and strike India’s Eastern coast. Pakistan Navy has also developed Naval Base Jewani, about 60 km from Iran to help expand its outreach into the Gulf waters,” he added.

Jinnah base would act as an alternative option for Pakistan Navy to Karachi where all the logistic and technical support for berthing navy’s ships and even submarines were available.

“We have developed the required facilities for technical repair of ships and submarines at the base. It is an alternative arrangement to the Karachi base and can easily meet our defence requirements. However, Karachi dockyard would still be the center for major overhaul or repair,” the Jinnah base officer said.

Riaz Haq said…
More delay in #Pakistan offshore drilling due to concerns about blow-out from huge #oil and #gas field estimated to have to over 1.5 billion barrels of oil. Exxon fixing blow-out preventer (BOP) to prevent oil fire from blow-out from kick pressure #Karachi

The spudding, that was to kick start on April 20, 2019 at Kekra-1 well in G-bloc, Pakistan’s ultra-deep sea after pause of 12 days, could not take off as it has hit another serious snag.

The blow out preventer (BOP) that prevents from any blow out or any kick pressure that can result into eruption of fire, has gone out of order and its repair is underway.

Sher Afgan, Additional Secretary and spokesman for Petroleum Division, confirmed the development saying the blow out preventer that is attached with valves at the end of rig has developed serious problems owing to which the drilling could not start on time.

Up till now, the official said, drilling is virtually stopped for the last 18 days and the status will last till the repair process of BOP is completed. However, Ghulam Mustafa, expert of oil and gas exploration and production, did not accept that the blow out preventer takes four to five days for repair, arguing that the BOP cannot be repaired, rather it can be upgraded by changing its affected spare parts and this process does not take more than one hour. He said the drilling machine may have developed other problem that is not being shared.

Earlier, the drilling got stalled on April 8 at the depth of 4,810 meters because of cementing and casing process which took almost 12 days to get completed. Now the issue of blow out preventer has emerged which according to the official of Petroleum Division is being coped with. And once the BOP’s repair is completed, the Mobile Exxon with ENI as operator at Kekra-1 well will start the drilling of the remaining 650-800 meters under second side tracking.

GA Sabri, former secretary of Petroleum Ministry, opined that BOP is one of the important tools that prevents the rig and whole apparatus from any blow out that is caused because of pressure kick that also may lead to eruption of fire. He said that BOP ensures the safety of the machine (rig and whole apparatus). When asked what will happen to the drilling as in May, the sea will turn rough because of high tide, Sabri said according to new weather forecast, monsoon has delayed so the chances of sea to turn rough have got minimised in May which is a good news.

Once the BOP issue is sorted, Kekra-01 well will enter a phase where the operator will, for the first time, begin to receive information that would help determine the well prospects. This would include results from LWD (logging while drilling), salinity testing, potential hydrocarbon traces in mud and rock samples and hydrocarbon kicks.

Time required to drill the remaining depth will depend upon the rate of penetration (RoP). The penetration rate is significantly slower for northern region of Pakistan than the southern region.

“We don’t yet have precedents to form a reliable estimate for the RoP for offshore Indus-G, where Kekra-01 is being drilled. An RoP of 10 meters per hour (generally considered low) would mean that it would take 80 hours or a little more than three days to reach the target depth.’’

After completion of drilling, the operator will likely do wire line logging which could take another three or four days. This will likely be followed by another casing and cementing exercise that can take four to six days. At this stage a substantial amount of information regarding the well prospects will be known, however, the results (discovery or dry well) will require completion of proper testing.

Riaz Haq said…
160 oil and gas reservoirs discovered in Pakistan in last 10 years

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Energy (Petroleum Division) Omar Ayub Khan has said that a total of 160 oil and gas reservoirs have been discovered in Pakistan during the last 10 years.

In a written reply submitted in the National Assembly, Omar Ayub said that the discovered reservoirs are in different stages of appraisal and development, therefore, the estimated volume and value may vary based on actual production and its recovery factor.

The province wise break up of aforesaid discoveries during the year 2008-2018:160 oil and gas reservoirs discovered in Pakistan in last 10 years

Furthermore, the minister for energy told the House that at present total annual requirement of oil of the country is around 25.8 million tons per annum.

Required purchase and sale rates of petroleum products in Pakistan:

Sindh 131, Punjab 13, Balochistan 3, KPK 13

The minister said that the prices of petroleum products in the Country are linked with the International Arab Gulf market prices which fluctuate on daily basis and not in the control of government. Accordingly, the domestic oil prices are increased/decreased by including notified taxes and other cost components incurred on the supply of oil across the country.

Omar Ayub said that the government takes steps from time to time for providing relief to the consumers by adjusting any hike in international oil prices through reduction in the rate of taxes.

Petrol/Liter: Purchase Price Rs 62.55, Distribution/Transportation: Rs. 9.84, Taxes: Rs. 26.50. Total/Liter Rs. 98.89

Riaz Haq said…
#Dutch shipbuilder Damen launches first of 2 corvettes for #Pakistan #Navy.
The 2,300-ton multirole corvettes are "state-of-the-art vessels" suited for anti-surface, anti-air, and #maritime #security operations. #pakistannavy #GwadarAttack | Jane's 360

The first of two corvettes on order for the Pakistan Navy (PN) has been launched at the facilities of Dutch shipbuilder Damen in Galati, Romania.

The service announced on its Facebook page that the 2,300-ton vessel, which had been previously described as an offshore patrol vessel (OPV), entered the water on 17 May in a ceremony held at the shipyard in Romania and attended by PN Vice Admiral Abdul Aleem, among others.

The contract for the two vessels was signed in June 2017, with the first corvette expected to enter service by the end of 2019, and the second one set to be delivered by mid-2020, according to the navy.

Vice Adm Aleem was quoted as saying during the ceremony that these platforms "will act as force multipliers in enhancing [the] navy's capability of safeguarding maritime frontiers and will offer more flexibility in the conduct of [the] Pakistan Navy's initiative of independent Regional Maritime Security Patrols in the Indian Ocean Region".

The multirole corvettes have been previously described by the PN as "state-of-the-art vessels" especially suited for anti-surface, anti-air, and maritime security operations.

Each of them features a helicopter pad to facilitate search-and-rescue missions, as well as surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations. No further details were provided about the systems or weapons set to be fitted onto the class.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan seafood exports to China rise: Chinese fishing company

The exports of Pakistani seafood from Gwadar to Chinese cities through Urumqi, China’s Xinjiang autonomous region has increased manifold owing to robust demand, Chen Baoliang, chairman of the board of Xinjiang Yu-Fei International Fishing Company said on Thursday.

Yu-Fei Marine Technology of China (Gwadar) Company is one of the largest fishing companies in the Gwadar port of Pakistan, according to

"Since the company was established in 2017, we have been exporting an increasing quantity of seafood back to China," said Chen.

In the last two years, Yu-Fei imported 1,000 tonnes of seafood and sold them to cities in the Chinese mainland.

Now it takes 34 hours for lobsters and groupers from Pakistan to arrive in Xinjiang through air transport, instead of 25 days.

"When I visited Gwadar in 2016, I found that it had high-quality seafood but lacked proper facilities to process them," Chen said.

He invested 500 million yuan (about 73 million U.S.dollars) to build fishing, processing, refrigerated warehouses and established one of the largest seafood processing centers in Gwadar.

Yu-Fei is among a growing list of companies that bank on robust domestic demand in China to import seafood from Gwadar and sell to customers in Urumqi and Karamay, both in Xinjiang, and other cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

"As commercial relations expand, we will be able to create hundreds of more jobs for local Pakistanis and raise the income for local fishers," Chen said.

Riaz Haq said…
Hopes high for bumper catch in #Pakistan as new #fishing season begins. Shrimp species with the high-priced #export quality fish in the wake of heavy monsoon downpour.

Pakistan is starting its new fishing season from Aug 1, as fishermen hope for a 'bumper crop' to haul all shrimp species with the high-priced export quality fish in the wake of heavy monsoon downpour.

Authorities have also started issuing credentials to fishermen for hunt in the new fishing season, which is kick-starting from Thursday, Aug 1, 2019 after a two-month fishing ban at a ceremony at the Karachi Fish Harbor. Sailing of boats will begin following prayer sessions at different fishing communities across the coastal belt of Sindh from Karachi to Korangi and Sir Creek.

"Nearly 800 small boats are expected to voyage to the seas with a hope to haul bumper crop of shrimps," President Native Islanders Fishermen Association, Asif Bhatti told Business Recorder on Wednesday, saying that the two-month ban on fishing is widely appreciated since it will help fishermen earn more catch than normal. Fishermen are 'jubilant' to voyage, he said, however, feared the fisheries market may manipulate the shrimp prices and maintain at the last year's valuation between Rs600 per kg to Rs 1200 kg.

The pre-fishing season monsoon rains will greatly help the crops flourish entire year, he said, hoping another spell until Aug 15 may add to the seas fertility to make the catch more valuable for the fishermen on the local market. "We still hope the another rainy spell will prolong the season with better catch this year," he said, adding that shrimp species like Kiddi, Jeyra and Tiger with fish species like Maya, Chind, Dother, etc, are the expensive products which catch will financially foster the fishermen at the end of the season".

The main areas wherefrom fishermen will sail for hunt are Karachi Fish Harbor, Baba and Bhit islands, besides Korangi - Ibrahim Haideri and localities around Sir Creeks, he said adding that the fishing may be unfeasible within the 12 nautical miles of the country's maritime belt because of the polluted water. "Fishermen will have to sail deep beyond 12 nautical miles as seas inside is polluted," Asif said, adding that the illegal netting in creeks for hunt of shrimps has also endangered many vertebrates and invertebrates across the coastal areas.

An official of Karachi Fish Harbor Authority told Business Recorder that the authority has started issuing documents to the fishermen a week earlier from the start of fishing season to help them avoid hustle. He confirmed the fishing season is starting today (Thursday) Aug 1 and boat may start their trips to the season. "Main operation of fishing hunt will start after Eid-ul-Azha," he said.

The country's seafood export reduced to $438.021 million in fiscal year 2018-19, falling short by $12.286 million or 3 percent to keep up with the seafood export of $451.021 million fiscal year 2017-18. In term of volume, Pakistan's seafood export declined to 195,523 metric tons in July-June 2018-19 from 196,927 metric tons in July-June 2017-18, showing a fall of one percent or 1404 metric tons. In June 2019, Pakistan exported $32.168 million of seafood, which is higher by 19 percent or $5.125 million from $27.043 million in June 2018. Seafood export quantity also grew by 19 percent or 2392 metric tons to 15,213 metric tons in June 2019 from 12,821 metric tons in June 2018, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics say.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tourism can Save #Pakistan's #Economy. #CPEC to give impetus to maritime tourism potential of Pakistan and #Gwadar port in particular. #Maritime and #coastal tourism would grow at a global rate of 3.5 percent annually by 2030. #China via @intpolicydigest


The coastline of Pakistan extends to 1050 km along the Arabian Sea, of which Sindh province shares 350 km and Balochistan segments 700 km. The coastal region of Balochistan in particular has a number of sand beaches with “shifting sand dunes.” Biological diversity, adds to the beauty and importance of the coastal belt, where migratory birds can be seen at Pasni, Jiwani and Miani Hor. Astola Island, the country’s first marine protected area (MPA), is a known nesting ground for endangered green turtles which can perhaps be developed into a sustainable tourist attraction. The Balochistan government, in view of the above potential, has announced to build tourist resorts to cater to the needs of local and foreign tourists at an allocated cost of $2.1 million at Kund Malir, Gadani, Ormara, JÄ«wani, and Khor Kalmat. Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, is the coastal city that remains a popular destination among national tourists. The Clifton beach is a famous place to visit where camel and buggy rides are offered for families on picnic. Hawke’s Bay is another of the beach for leisure seekers who usually rent a hut to spend their weekends. The Indus Delta and the mangroves at the Sindh provincial coast also offers a potential tourism resource.

The region presently contributes $296 billion in tourism, with states such as Maldives, India and Sri Lanka taking the lead in successfully whirling the sector into a major contributor for the national economy. The World Bank estimates that tourism for Pakistan has a mere share of 2.93 percent to the gross domestic product, compared to other regional states that are performing extraordinarily well. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by tapping in the maritime potential of Pakistan and Gwadar port in particular, is foreseen by analysts to provide the necessary impetus for prosperous sea-based tourism in Pakistan.

The joint venture of $52 billion (CPEC) between China and Pakistan, is a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The latter aims to revive the ancient Silk Road via an ambitious network of rail, road and maritime networks involving more than 150 states across the continent. The grandeur nature of the project allows considerable opportunities for local and international investors to participate in developing the sea-based tourism industry. It is worth mentioning that China increased its revenues by billions of dollars as a result of coastal tourism. The two countries should collaborate on increasing tourism. China, sharing from its successful experience, can provide important insights into developing viable maritime tourism industry in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Fisheries currently contribute only 0.4 per cent to the GDP, and the sector’s approximately $350 million of exports appears to be at a standstill. Comparisons to other countries in the region suggest that Pakistan is failing to fully realise the potential of its capture.

The Pakistan Economic Survey 2017-18 estimated that during the first eight months of fiscal year 2017-18, total marine and inland fish production was estimated at 482,000 metric tonnes, out of which 338,000 metric tonnes was from marine waters and the remaining catch came from inland waters.

Whereas the fish production for the same period of fiscal year 2016-17 was estimated to be 477,000 metric tonnes in which 332,000 metric tonnes was from marine and the remaining was produced by inland fishery sector.

During eight months of 2017-18, a total of 108,262 metric tonnes of fish and fishery products were exported. Pakistan’s major buyers are China, Thailand, Malaysia, Middle East, Sri Lanka and Japan.

Pakistan earned $264m, while the export for 2016-17 of fish and fishery products was 89,032 metric tonnes which earned $239m. The export of fish and fishery products has increased by 21.6pc in quantity and 10.5pc in value during 2017-18.

The World Bank report “Revitalising Pakistan’s Fisheries” says that the European Union countries, Japan, and the United States are the world’s biggest export markets for seafood, yet at present, they account for less than 3pc of Pakistan’s fisheries export earnings (about $9.3m annually).
Riaz Haq said…
Updated 02-2017 by FAO

Pakistan’s coast extends 1 100 km from India to Iran, with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 240 000 km2. The continental shelf area is about 50 270 km2. The total maritime zone of Pakistan is over 30 percent of the land area and includes some very productive areas, with rich fisheries and mineral resources. The only major freshwater input comes from the Indus River at the eastern extremity, which discharges some 200 km3 of water and 450 million tonnes of suspended sediment annually. The coastal ecosystem includes numerous deltas and estuaries with extensive inter-tidal mudflats and their associated wetlands, sandy beaches, rocky shores, mangroves and sea grasses.

Marine fisheries in Pakistan is being carried out on two distinct grounds i.e. coastline covering Mekran (Balochistan) as well as the coast of Karachi (Sindh). Sindh and Balochistan coasts comprise of many widely dispersed, small landing places utilized by small craft equipped with sails and/or outboard engines. The marine fish are marketed as fresh, freezing, canning for local consumption.

Karachi and Mekran being the most important fishing ports are being developed by the Government of Pakistan as a fishing centre.

Even as per capita consumption is rather low (1.9 kg in 2013), fisheries play an important role in the national economy. The marine capture fisheries sector contributes 359 534 tonnes (2015), about 73 percent of capture production and 56 percent of total fish production. Inland capture and aquaculture productions (2015) were 132 456 tonnes and tonnes, 151 055, contributing 21 percent and 23 percent, respectively. In 2010, exports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 266 million and represented 1.2 percent of total merchandise trade. Recent statistics indicate that fish exports and fish preparations during the second half of 2011 increased by more than 16 percent in value and 6 percent in quantity in comparison to the same period in 2010.

Inland fisheries is generally of a subsistence nature, based on rivers, irrigation canals and reservoirs, with some 211 609 people involved in 2014. In 2014 marine coastal fishing employed over 194 420 people.

Fishing, the most important economic activity in the villages and towns along the coast, and in most of the coastal villages and settlements, is the sole source of employment and income generation. However, according to recent press reports, the fisheries sector provides jobs for only about one per cent of the country’s labour force. The marine capture fisheries comprise both artisanal and commercial scale operations. Almost the entire fleet has been either motorized or mechanized, and freezing is the main mode for processing.

Main fisheries include the shrimp trawl fishery, tuna fishery, industrial deep sea fishery, small-scale demersal fishery, and small pelagic fishery. For the marine fishery sector, close to 9 899 powered vessels, were reported in 2014, from which 32% were undecked. The marine fishing fleet was primarily composed of gill-netters (59 percent) and secondarily by trawlers (41 percent). A fishing boat census has been initiated to determine operational fishing boats as well as the level of fishing efforts in various fisheries.

Aquaculture received increasing attention in recent years. Fish farming is practised in Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), and Sindh Province on a limited scale, using trout, common carp, grass carp, silver carp and other carp species which have been introduced, alongside the native Indian carps.

Farming of marine shrimp species has started on a pilot scale (using Penaeus merguiensis and P. indicus) along the Sindh and Balochistan coasts, Aquaculture is being promoted by the rehabilitation of hatcheries; cage culture is being experimented in five major water bodies.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan plows $87 million into aquaculture projects
Shrimp and trout farms are in the pipeline.

The Pakistan government is spending PRS 13.7 billion (€79.4 million/$87.1 million) on three mega aquaculture and fisheries development projects, reports The Nation.

The projects include shrimp farming and trout farming.

Federal secretary Popalzai Hashim said the development of the fisheries sector was a key priority within the country’s poverty reduction strategy


Govt to spend Rs13.17b on aquaculture development
Govt has launched a comprehensive “Agriculture Emergency Program”

Addressing the National Symposium on ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food and Livelihood in Pakistan’, organised by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations he said fisheries sector has huge potential, but it was neglected by all the previous governments.

Dr Hashim said that the development of fisheries sector was a key priority within the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy as well.

Recently, he said that the government has launched a comprehensive Rs309 billion “Agriculture Emergency Program”, under which three of its thirteen development projects would be executed in fisheries which include projects on incubating shrimp farming, cage culture for fish species and trout culture. He said that Asian Development Bank has also expressed its keen interest in assisting government initiatives for aquaculture development for providing livelihood opportunities for the communities living along these potential areas.

Oil prices remain low with virus-related low demand

He said that the current government has attached higher priorities with fisheries sector and introduce first fisheries policy for the development of shrimp farming, trout farming and catch culture in the country. He lauded the initiatives of FAO for organizing the event assured that government would extend all possible supports in its efforts to promote the aqua culture in the country.

Speaking on the FAO Pakistan Representative Mina Dowlatchahi said that FAO has been helping the Government of Pakistan with the fish stock in the country, as a number of communities along the coast depend their livelihoods on fisheries and aquaculture. These two sectors are high potential for livelihood, employment, decent work; for men, women and youth, and provide food security.

Riaz Haq said…
In-pond raceway systems introduced in Pakistan

Aquaculture in Pakistan is a fast-emerging sector that has developed over the last decade and has gradually evolved from extensive culture to semi-intensive farming. Lack of awareness of modern aquaculture techniques and floating aquafeeds had been the major impediments in the development of this sector. The vigorous efforts of the FEEDing Pakistan Program of the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the World Initiative for Human Health (WISHH) – funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by SoyPak, Pvt. Ltd. from 2011 to 2018 – led to the introduction of floating, soy-based feeds in the country and to tilapia culture with the Fisheries Development Board (FDB) in Pakistan.

A baseline assessment of the Pakistani Aquaculture Industry was conducted in early 2012 by a three-member team of Dr. Kevin Fitzsimmons, Dr. John Woiwode, and Dr. R.S.N. Janjua, with recommendation of action supported by Drs. Johan Woiwode, Karen Veverica and Ram Bhujel. The major tangible outcome of this program was establishment of the first extruded aquafeed mill (2013) and tilapia hatchery (2014), which were milestones in the history of aquaculture industry of Pakistan.


IPRS technology: principles, components
The principle of the IPRS is to concentrate fish in raceways within a pond and provide them with constant water circulation to maintain optimal water quality and to improve feed management. The IPRS also has the potential to reduce solid waste loading in the pond by concentrating and removing it from the downstream end of raceway units. Water circulation, mixing and aeration are critical elements to this approach because they accelerate the assimilation of the organic loading of the pond from feeding the fish. Important components of IPRS are as follows:

White-water units are the aerating and water mixing units attached to raceways and additional units are placed in the open pond to mix and circulate the water. Using air blowers or white-water air lift devices at the inlet end of the raceway, water is airlifted and moved to the raceway and released out at the other end and into the pond. White-water airlifts move and aerate water very well, with rates of aeration of up to 170 cubic meters per hour. This continuous mixing of water helps plankton production, improves the presence of beneficial bacteria, and accelerates the rate of waste load assimilation which cannot be achieved in traditionally managed commercial aquaculture ponds.
A raceway with dimensions of 25 meters by 5 meters each and a depth of 2 meters is installed in a pond of 1 hectare and occupies about 2.5 percent of the total area. Fish are confined in raceways instead of being stocked in the total water area of a traditional pond.
The IPRS technology can achieve 70 percent of nutrient collection from the raceways with the help of its sludge collection unit. The last 3 to 6 meters in length of the raceway or cell is used as the sludge collection point or the quiescent zone (QZ) at the extreme downstream portion of the raceway where fish are harvested, and solid wastes are collected and removed there. With the help of a sludge treatment plant, the waste can be reused as organic manure for crops.
A baffle wall made from soil, fabric and fence is placed along the longitudinal axis at the center of the pond to force the water to take a long course around the pond before returning to the IPRS system head. It generates a riverine system/flow in the pond and helps in mixing of the pond water.
Riaz Haq said…
The steel-cutting or the groundbreaking ceremony for the second Turkish MILGEM Ada class corvette for the Pakistan navy was held in Karachi on Tuesday.

The ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) – Pakistan navy's specialized shipbuilding division – was attended by Pakistan navy officials, representatives of Turkey's state-run defense firm ASFAT, and KSEW Managing Director Rear Admiral Ather Saleem.

In July 2018, the Pakistan navy signed a contract with ASFAT for four MILGEM-class ships. According to the deal, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and two will be built in Pakistan. The deal also involves technology transfer.

The keel-laying or the formal recognition of the start of the construction ceremony of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette was held in Istanbul last week.

MILGEM vessels are 99 meters long with a displacement of 24,00 tons and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles.

MILGEM anti-submarine combat frigates, which have advance radar-evading technologies, will further enhance the defense capability of the Pakistan navy.

"The MILGEM Class Corvettes will be state-of-the-art surface platform equipped with the modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and combat management system. These ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region," the navy said in a statement.

16x VLS, AESA Radar, Integrated Mast, Genesis Combat Management System. Its almost a Frigate.

A vertical launching system (VLS) is an advanced system for holding and firing missiles on mobile naval platforms, such as surface ships and submarines. Each vertical launch system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing.

Riaz Haq said…
Blue economy: Pakistan’s untapped potentials

Blue economy is an emerging popular concept which revolves around safeguarding the world’s oceans and efficiently using of water resources for sustainable growth and development. The concept at its core refers to promote usage of ocean resources for economic growth, social inclusion, and the preservation of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas. It encompasses many activities including renewable energy, fisheries, maritime transport, coastal tourism, waste management, and climate change risk management. In addition, various emerging new sectors including marine chemistry, ocean engineering, ocean power and biomedicine have taken their place in the blue economy which no doubts in return creates enormous employment opportunities and wealth creation for any coastal state. World economists have estimated an asset value of $24 trillion to the ocean economy and as of now it’s delivering something between $4-500 billion each year in terms of the dividend to humanity. However, an important challenge of the Blue Economy is to comprehend and better manage the many aspects of oceanic sustainability, ranging from fisheries to ecosystem health to pollution.


Pakistan’s mangrove area being the sixth largest in the world holds an annual value of about $20 million which can be extracted from mangrove dependent industry. Whereas, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation which handles about 99% import of gasoline products holds a very small number of cargo vessels that only carries 7% of cargo to the world, while the remaining 93% is handled by foreign companies which produce foreign exchange of about $1.5 billion annually. Such economic figures can contribute to overcome the economic instability of the country and put back the national economy on the success track. To optimally benefit from the country’s maritime sector, there is a need for an integrated National Maritime Policy to effectively capitalize the ocean based dividends.

Need of an hour is to formulate an effective national compliance mechanism and synergize the institutional efforts to tap the ‘Blue’ economic potentials of Pakistan. Moreover, CPEC is a significant platform to play a pivot role in this regard as it has already put forward plans for the activation of ocean based activities in a bid to explore the incredible maritime avenues. Pakistan should also embark upon boosting its economy while focusing on maritime infrastructure, technology for offshore resource development, a strong fisheries and marine leisure sector (tourism), environment issues etc. All the required financial and technological support should be geared up for building, operating, and making economically profitable industries. These are compelling reasons for Pakistan to endorse and internalize the concept of a Blue Economy in policy, bilateral relations as well as international transactions.
Riaz Haq said…
Blue economy: parallel option for economic growth

Pakistan, in spite of having huge potential for growth and investment in the maritime sector or the “Blue Economy”, is only able to generate only 0.4 percent of its GDP through maritime sectors. The potential sectors of the maritime economy which have been mentioned earlier (Shipbreaking, shipping, ports, seafaring, fishing, aquaculture, coastal tourism, minerals and offshore basins) are many, but Pakistan is earning from only a few, like, fishing, shipbreaking, ports and shipping. Pakistan is not even fully utilizing the potential of these sectors. Pakistan was ranked at number one in the shipbreaking industry earlier. However, now India has taken over the Number One spot, is followed by Bangladesh and only then comes Pakistan. Both the countries are ahead of Pakistan despite having favorable conditions like heavy tides, cheap labour and a long beach. The shipbreaking industry is in a terrible condition after the fire incident took place at Gadani in 2017. Pakistan can earn billions in this sector by breaking large vessels which were used to carry crude oil. The government can facilitate public-private partnership in the shipbreaking and shipbuilding industry.

Secondly, Pakistan has beautiful and untapped beaches along with its coastlines. Globally tourism industry accounts for more than 10 percent of the GDP. Coastal areas of Pakistan have a variety of landforms such as sand beaches in Baluchistan, rock cliffs, headlands, bays, lagoons, deltas, mud volcanoes, estuaries, and mudflats and so on. However, Pakistan is not utilizing this natural potential and losing its potential expected income of around $4 billion. According to the report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pakistan is among the least competitive countries of South Asia in tourism and is ranked at 121 out of 140 countries globally. Pakistan needs to invest in coastal tourism development by building infrastructures like a resort, theme parks, islands and a food industry. Additionally, water sport like boating, diving, snorkelling, sport-fishing, jet-skiing and scuba diving should be started. Pakistan also needs to create a cruise industry for attracting more tourists in the areas of Karachi and Gwadar.

Thirdly, Pakistan needs to improve its fishing industry and invest more on aquaculture. Fisheries play an important role in the agriculture and food economy of the country. This sector provides jobs to almost 390,000 people of Pakistan directly and almost 400,000 people indirectly through such areas as transportation and retailing. Additionally, coastal communities are heavily dependent on this source of economy and food. Fish is a major export of Pakistan. According to the reports of the World Fish Centre, due to the growing population, the demand for fish is expected to increase globally by 50 percent over the next 15 years. Currently, Pakistan’s fish is relatively low-priced at $2.27 to $2.5 per kg as compared to $ 7 per kg in the region, due to its poor export quality and deteriorating transportation method. The fishing industry can improve the export quality by providing quality fishing boats, sustainable nets and capacity building training. Additionally, illegal fishing should be banned by legislation. Thus the addition of value-added products in the export basket will bring more revenue to the country.

Fourthly, the role of the ports, and especially of Gwadar, is very crucial for the economic development of Pakistan. Ports play an important role in transporting freight at the cheapest rate. Along with this, ports provide employment opportunities to a large chunk of the nation.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan can generate $6b in savings from revitalized #shipping industry. Nearly 85% of Pakistan’s total international #trade (of about 100 million tons) is carried out by foreign ships

A new tweet by Pakistan prime Minister Imran Khan has drawn renewed focus on the country’s maritime possibilities.. and the need for an immediate funding support to tap that potential.

The Prime Minister Khan called for efforts to revitalise the maritime economy to save valuable foreign exchange and generate more jobs.

In the 1980’s, the country’s Gadani port was the world’s largest ship-breaking yard, earning sizeable foreign exchange and creating jobs to thousands.

“If we do not transform it into “green” ship recycling - to protect both the workers and environment - Pakistan’s ranking may slip down from the current number three,” Obaidullah said.

Now, if new investments are channelled into raising much needed capacity at Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, it could set up just the boost the industry needs. .

Another sub-category where Pakistan’s natural resources could be better exploited is with seafood.

Changes could fetch Pakistan $1 billion a year, said Obaidullah. “Pakistan’s coastline is nearly 1,050 kilometres, while its Exclusive Economic Zone covers an area of 290,000 square kilometres.

“Bangladesh’s coastline is about half as compared to Pakistan - but the country is earning over a billion dollars from seafood exports.”

India, which is now the fourth-biggest seafood exporter, is earning about $6billion from such. “Pakistan is merely earning around $350 million (to $450 million) ,” he added.

Pakistan’s Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi said that the ministry would deliver its best by “realising and maximising the enormous potential of the “blue economy”.”

With the new deep sea fishing policy, Pakistan’s seafood exports can earn up to $2 billion, he said.

Creating that ‘blue’ economy
It includes all economic activities relating to commercial projects involving oceans and seas. It includes interlinked sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, maritime transport, shipbuilding and marine extraction of oil and gas, marine biotechnology, renewable energy and more.\

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to launch international ferry service linking #Karachi, #Gwadar with Iran, Iraq, #UAE by sea. It will carry passengers and freight and serve as an alternate route for Zaireen (pilgrims) intending to visit holy sites in #Iran and #Iraq. #tourism

The federal cabinet on Tuesday gave formal approval to the launch of a ferry service from Karachi and Gwadar ports to neighbouring states of Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and beyond.

At present, there was no international or national commercial ferry service operating in Pakistan for the purpose of transportation of passengers and goods.

According to a summary exclusively available with this scribe, the potential advantages of water transportation through ferry services were established and common around the world, particularly in several European countries.

In the regional countries such as Iran, UAE, Oman, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, there were established ferry operators, which were successfully running on various routes. The potential for initiating a ferry service in Pakistan has been felt for quite some time, especially in the context of providing an alternate route for Zaireen intending to visit holy sites in Iran and Iraq.

Further, transportation between Karachi and Gwadar and provision of an alternate water route between Karachi and Port Qasim also has good potential for the country.

According to details, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs had moved a summary for Prime Minister on December 15, 2017, through foreign affairs, interior, revenue and defence divisions, proposing the launch of a ferry service through Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior endorsed the proposal, but the Defence Division had raised various observations/conditions on the proposed ferry service. Hence, the Prime Minister’s Office returned the summary with the directions to address the observations of the defence ministry and re-submit the same within the shortest possible time.

Subsequently, the maritime affairs ministry re-submitted the proposal along with a response to the observations raised by the Ministry of Defence. It proposed a slightly changed route and involvement of private operators. The Defence Division supported the proposal but stressed that ferry service should be launched in three phases.

The Defence Division recommended ferry services to Muscat and then to UAE and Abu Dhabi in first and second phases, respectively, and later to Iran/Iraq in the third phase. The ministry was of the view that ferry service without Iran/Iraq, a popular destination for the Zaireen, in the first phase shall not be commercially viable.

The foreign affairs and interior divisions endorsed the proposal of this ministry subject to addressing the security concerns raised by the Ministry of Defence. The re-submitted proposal was returned by the Prime Minister’s Office, with the direction to convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders in order to address all the observations/concerns, including those raised by FBR and defence ministry and thereafter submit recommendations.

On Tuesday, the ministry proposed starting ferry service from Karachi (Karachi Port), linking Port Qasim and Gwadar Port with Bandar Abbas (Iran), Basra (Iraq), Muscat (Oman) and Dubai (UAE) separately or collectively.

The ferry terminals at Karachi Port, Port Qasim and/or Gwadar Port would be established by the respective port authorities, replicating all the operational facilities related to security, immigration, customs etc. as that of any international airport in the country in collaboration with other ministries. 
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan launches ferry service linking Iran, Iraq, UAE and beyond

The federal cabinet of Pakistan on Tuesday, September 8, gave formal approval to the launch of a ferry service out of ports Gwadar and Karachi to the neighbouring states Iran, Iraq, UAE-United Arab Emirates and beyond.

Currently, there was no national or international commercial ferry service operating in the country for the purpose of transportation of goods and passengers. In the regional countries like Bangladesh, Iran, Oman, Sri Lanka, and there were established ferry operators successfully running on a variety of routes. The potential for initiating Pakistan's ferry service has been felt for quite some time, especially in providing an alternate route for Zaireen intending to call at holy sites in Iran and Iraq.

Transportation between Gwadar and Karachi and provision of an alternate water route between Port Qasim and Karachi also has potential for the country.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs moved a summary for Prime Minister back on December 15, 2017, through the interior, foreign affairs, revenue and defence divisions, proposing the launch of a ferry service through PNSC (Pakistan National Shipping Corporation). The proposal was endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior but the Defence Division raised observations and conditions on the proposed service. The Prime Minister’s Office returned the summary with directions to address the observations and re-submit the same.

The maritime affairs ministry re-submitted the proposal and suggested the involvement of private operators and a slightly changed route. The Defence Division supported it but stressed that ferry service should be launched in 3 phases, recommending ferry services to Muscat and then to UAE and Abu Dhabi in 1st and 2nd phases, respectively, and later to Iran and Iraq in the 3rd phase. The re-submitted proposal was returned by the Prime Minister’s Office, with the direction to convene a meeting of the stakeholders to address all the observations and thereafter submit recommendations.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan to Host Russia, NATO Members for Joint Naval Drill

Pakistan announced Monday it will host navies from 45 countries, including the United States, China and Russia, for a joint military exercise in the North Arabian Sea later this month.

It will be the first time in a decade that Russian naval ships have attended drills with multiple NATO members.

Officials said the biannual multinational "AMAN" (Peace) exercise in Pakistani waters is aimed at fostering international cooperation to fight piracy, terrorism and other crimes threatening maritime security and stability.

“Exercise AMAN is about bridging gaps and making it possible to operate together in pursuance of common objectives,” Rear Adm. Naveed Ashraf, commander of the Pakistani fleet, said Monday.

An official statement quoted him as saying that participating nations will attend the military drills with their “surface and air assets, special operation forces and maritime teams.”

Britain, Turkey, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and countries from the African Union are also among participants of the military exercise under the banner, "Together for Peace.”

The last time the Russian navy conducted joint military drills with NATO members was in the "Bold Monarch" exercise in 2011, which took place off the coast of Spain.

NATO’s relations with Moscow have since deteriorated over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014.

“Pakistan considers that maritime security is not just important for itself but for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are strongly bonded with the seas,” Ashraf said.

He stressed that Pakistan’s “extraordinary dependence” on the seas for trade and operationalization of infrastructure projects developed with China’s financial and technical assistance “make the maritime stability” an “important agenda of our national security.”

The multibillion-dollar collaboration, known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is regarded as a key component of Beijing’s global Belt and Road Initiative.

The project has in recent years cemented economic relations between the two allied nations, which traditionally maintain close military ties.

The Pakistani navy chief last week confirmed his institution will acquire eight submarines and four frigates from China.

“Naval collaboration between the two countries has been strengthened with the procurement of F-22P frigates, fast attack craft, helicopters, and state-of-the-art survey ships,” Adm. Amjad Khan Niazi told China’s Global Times.

“The PN (Pakistan Navy) has also contracted construction of eight Hangor class submarines, four Type 054A/P frigates, and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles from China,” Niazi said.

On Monday, Pakistan’s military received a donated batch of COVID-19 vaccine from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). It marked the first time the PLA has provided the vaccine to a foreign army.

“Pakistan’s armed forces extend their deepest gratitude to PLA and People’s Republic of China for this magnanimous donation during testing times,” the Pakistani military said.

It added, however, that the drug will be contributed to the ongoing national drive inoculating health care workers across Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to develop blue economy. Sees huge potential of the #maritime domain, where all other sectors of #economy crisscross. Unveils new #shipping policy of incentives for #investment in the maritime sector. #Karachi #Gwadar #CPEC #AMAN2021ASuccess

KARACHI: The three-day International Maritime Conference (IMC-21) organised on the theme of ‘Development of Blue Economy under a Secure and Sustainable Environment: A Shared Future for Western Indian Ocean Region’ by the National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) under the auspices of Pakistan Navy culminated here on Monday.

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi was the chief guest at the closing ceremony, says a Pakistan Navy press release.

The conference included an array of prominent speakers who delivered addresses during the event presenting their thoughts on the theme.

Addressing the audience, the chief guest said the government was cognizant of the importance of blue economy and taking all possible measures for its development.

Three-day International Maritime Conference concludes with more speeches on the theme

He underscored the huge potential of the maritime domain, where all other sectors of economy crisscross and also underlined that unveiling of the new shipping policy offered tangible benefits for investment in the maritime sector.

The chief guest said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was rightfully considered a game-changer not only for Pakistan but for the economic development and prosperity of the entire region.

The foreign minister praised Pakistan Navy for promoting maritime awareness in the country, spearheading efforts for the development of blue economy and taking various initiatives to ensure peace and order at sea individually and in collaboration with regional and extra-regional navies.

He also commended NIMA for attracting a large number of intellectuals from around the globe and making the conference a success.

Earlier, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi in his closing remarks thanked all the speakers, panellists and participants who travelled from far and wide or participated virtually to add great value to the conference.

The naval chief emphasised the great potential and prospects of the Western Indian Ocean region for regional integration, inclusive development and international cooperation.

The admiral also praised efforts of NIMA for the successful conduct of the event.

The last day of the IMC comprised two sessions. During the first session, Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj GuI was the chief guest.

Eminent scholars deliberated on ocean governance, policies and laws.

Chairman of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology, UK, Capt Muhammad Shafique explicated the blue economy paradigm in the light of the IMO and UN bodies. Later, director of Maritime Research, World Maritime University, Sweden, Dr Aykut I. Olcer, in an online talk extended his views regarding importance of decarburisation of international shipping for a sustainable planet.

The last speaker of the session was regional head Sindh and Balochistan WWF-Pakistan Dr Tahir Rasheed, who underscored blue growth strategy, opportunities for socio-economic development for coastal communities.

In the third and last session, ZERI CEO Gunter Puli presented his views online on ‘Blue Growth Strategy for the Future World’.

Later, another important address was delivered by retired vice admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Rao, emphasising blue economy.

At the closing of the conference, on behalf of NIMA Director General retired vice admiral Abdul Aleem, director of NIMA Karachi Commodore retired Ali Abbas integrated the conference proceedings and presented recommendations.

The conference was attended by a large number of dignitaries from across the globe, officers from defence forces of Pakistan and friendly countries, academia, media representatives and researchers from local and international think tanks.
Riaz Haq said…
While briefing the meeting, BCDA (Balochistan Coastal Development Authority) Director General Babar Khan Kakar said that a master plan of the coastline was being prepared and feasibility studies of five fishing sites had been included in the tourism promotion projects. He said seven eco-tourism resorts, construction of nine rest areas at the coastal highway and other projects had also been prepared.

Mr Khan said construction of eight floating jetties, five beach parks and two nurseries of salicornia had also been included in the development projects. He said tourist resorts at Gadani, Miani Hour, Kund Malir, Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar Marine Drive and Jewani Sunset Point would be set up.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Gwadar loses lustre as Saudis shift $10bn deal to Karachi

Saudi Arabia has decided to shift a proposed $10bn oil refinery to Karachi from Gwadar, the centre stage of the Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan, further supporting the impression that the port city is losing its importance as a mega-investment hub. On June 2, Tabish Gauhar, the special assistant to Pakistan’s prime minister on power and petroleum, said that Saudi Arabia would not build the refinery at Gwadar but would construct it along with a petrochemical complex somewhere near Karachi. He added that in the next five years another refinery with a capacity of more than 200,000 barrels a day could be built in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding to invest $10bn in an oil refinery and petrochemical complex at Gwadar in February 2019, during a visit by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to Pakistan. At the time, Islamabad was struggling with declining foreign exchange reserves.

The decision to shift the project to Karachi highlights the infrastructural deficiencies in Gwadar.

A Pakistani official in the petroleum sector told Nikkei Asia on condition of anonymity that a mega oil refinery in Gwadar was never feasible. “Gwadar can only be a feasible location of an oil refinery if a 600km oil pipeline is built connecting it with Karachi, the centre of oil supply of the country,” the official said. There is currently an oil pipeline from Karachi to the north of Pakistan, but not to the east.

“Without a pipeline, the transport of refined oil from Gwadar [via road in oil tankers] to consumption centres in the country will be very expensive,” the official said. He added that at the current pace of development he did not see Gwadar’s infrastructure issues being resolved in the next 15 years.

The official also hinted that Pakistan’s negotiations with Russia for investment in the energy sector might have been a factor in the Saudi decision. In February 2019, a Russian delegation, headed by Gazprom deputy chair Vitaly A Markelov, agreed to invest $14bn in different energy projects including pipelines. So far these pledges have not materialised, but Moscow’s undertaking provided Pakistan with an alternative to the Saudis, which probably irritated Riyadh.

Arif Rafiq, president of Vizier Consulting, a New York-based political risk firm, told Nikkei that a Saudi-commissioned feasibility study on a refinery and petrochemicals complex in Gwadar advised against it. “Saudi interest has shifted closer to Karachi, which makes sense, given its proximity to areas of high demand and existing logistics networks,” he added.

Rafiq, who is also a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, considers this decision by the Saudis as a setback for Gwadar, the crown jewel of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the $50bn Pakistan component of the Belt and Road.

The Saudi decision “is a setback for Pakistan’s plans for Gwadar to emerge as an energy and industrial hub. Pakistan has struggled to find a viable economic growth strategy for Gwadar,” he said. Any progress in Gwadar in the coming decade or two will be slow and incremental, he added.

Local politicians consider the shifting of the oil refinery a huge loss for economic development in Gwadar. Aslam Bhootani, the National Assembly of Pakistan member representing Gwadar, said the move is a loss not only for Gwadar but for all of the southwestern province of Balochistan. He said he would urge the Petroleum Ministry of Pakistan to ask the Saudis to reconsider their decision.

The decision has shattered the image of Gwadar as an up-and-coming major commercial hub. In February 2020, the Gwadar Smart Port City Masterplan was unveiled, forecasting that the city’s economy would surpass $30bn by 2050 and add 1.2m jobs. Local officials started calling Gwadar the future “Singapore of Pakistan”.

Riaz Haq said…
Scuba diving in #Karachi: #Pakistan isn't a popular destination for water #sports, but new, high-profile projects—such as #CPEC and #Gwadar Club & Ninety Nine Beach Resort—are bringing more people into contact with the country’s #seawater sites. #tourism

Which is your favorite site?

I love Charna Island, located near Mubarak Village in Karachi, especially when thousands of jellyfish happen to swim past. It’s a breeding ground for Arabian species, with stingrays, barracudas, pufferfish, sergeant majors, parrotfish, moray eels, albino eels, crabs, lobsters, and octopuses—and, although they’re rare, even bull sharks have been recorded here. The place offers a unique opportunity to feel as though you’re discovering a reef for the first time. Not only am I spellbound by its otherworldly beauty, but it also helps me to understand the importance of preserving this precious environment. Charna has a giant rock situated in the middle, which protects the island from strong waves, making it ideal for everyone to have a go at snorkeling here. The South Wreck is another extraordinary spot—the best-kept secret for experienced divers.

When is the best time to take a dip?

The typical diving season is from October to March, when sea conditions are usually calm and visibility is excellent. The water’s crystal-clear appearance means you’ll easily be able to spot the turtles and dolphins at their most active during boat rides.

What are the most exciting things to do on land in Karachi?

Hire one of the beach huts dotted along Hawks Bay or Turtle Beach; they have spectacular sea views across the wide sandy landscape. There are some great camel tours around here—take one at sunset. But in the evening, go to Do Darya, which translates roughly to “the place where two rivers meet;” here, many restaurants cluster at the edge of the sea. One of my favorites is Kolachi, which serves fantastic barbecue food. Next, head out on a private cruise with Al-Noor for live music and mouth-watering local dishes. The next day, go to Saddar Town for a street-food tour, during which you’ll find the best biryani and numerous roadside stalls selling bun kebabs. From here, it’s an easy walk around the corner to Empress Market for locally made products.

Any other outdoor-activity highlights?

I like to go kayaking through Karachi’s mangrove forests. It’s not only a simultaneously serene and thrilling adventure but also a great environmental-education journey—mangrove trees in coastal zones provide valuable protection from events caused by climate change. I also love connecting with nature and the beautiful mountainous terrains in northern Pakistan.

What makes Pakistan unique?

It has everything: diverse landscapes that range from woodland to lakes, beaches to deserts, peaks to cities. One day I can surf the rolling waves of its shoreline, the next I can trek to high altitudes or climb aboard the classic railways for a historic ride, ending the day at a chai dhaba [roadside tea stop] anywhere. It’s a country that will scoop you up with its rhythmic beats, rich aromas, and spectacle of sights—whatever emotion it draws from you is guaranteed to be deep.

Riaz Haq said…
• Coastal comprehensive development zone to be established on KPT’s reclaimed land
• $3.5bn plan envisages new berths for port, new fishery port, harbour bridge to unlock Pakistan’s Blue Economy
• Centre calls the initiative a game-changer for Pakistan

KARACHI: Calling it a “game-changer”, the federal government on Satur­day unveiled an ambitious plan to rebuild Karachi’s coastline under the China-Pakistan Economic Corri­dor (CPEC) with $3.5 billion “direct Chinese investment” that aims to overhaul city’s seaboard with new berths for the port, a new fishery port and a ‘majestic harbour bridge’ connecting it with Manora islands and Sandspit beach.

The Karachi Coastal Co­m­prehensive Develop­ment Zone (KCCDZ) — spread over 640 hectares or 1,581 acres on the western backwaters marsh land of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) leading to revamp one of the oldest city slums Machhar Colony relocating its more than half a million population — is an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

The KCCDZ is the latest addition to CPEC projects aimed at providing Karachi with an ultra modern urban infrastructure zone, placing it among the top port cities of the world.

The announcement came from the top when a key member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet sha­red some details of the project and claimed it carried “enormous potential for global investors as well”.

“And the best thing of this project is that it’s solely based on foreign [Chinese] investment without any loan,” said Minister for Mar­i­time Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi while speaking to Dawn.

Also read: Slow pace of work on CPEC irks Chinese companies

“The Chinese work so fast and I guess that it would not take more than five or six years to complete the project. Under the agreed plan, we would relocate some 20,000 to 25,000 families from Machhar Colony and relocate them. Believe me it’s a huge thing for Pakistan. It’s something massive. It would bring multifold advantages to Pakistan’s maritime economy and further strengthen our coastal development.”

He said after assuming the office as the minister for maritime affairs he vigorously looked for the opportunity for the KCCDZ and made all-out efforts to include it in the CPEC projects. For this purpose, he added, he consulted a number of Chinese companies, investors and officials of the neighbouring country and his efforts finally yielded results.

Earlier, the federal minister shared the “monumental decision” on a social me­dia platform, coming up with ske­tchy details of the KCCDZ. He, however, did not explain terms and conditions that convinced the Chinese investors to pour in $3.5 billion (around Rs592 billion).

“A monumental decision was taken during the 10th Joint Cooperation Commi­ttee (JCC) on CPEC, held on 23rd September 2021 at Islamabad and Beijing,” Mr Zaidi tweeted while sharing a formal statement of the announcement.

“The two countries agreed to include KCCDZ under the CPEC framework. KCCDZ, an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs focuses on providing Karachi with an ultra modern urban infrastructure zone, placing Karachi amongst the top port cities of the world.”

The minister also shared animated and picturesque images of a developed KCCDZ, showing a huge developed coastline dotted with multiple buildings, concrete structures and planned neighbourhoods without mentioning their utilities. He claimed all the developments would take place over “reclaimed area of the KPT” spanning over huge 640 hectares or 1581.474 acres.

“Developed on reclaimed area of approximately 640 hectares on the Western back waters marsh land of KPT, KCCDZ will be a flagship project for not only Pakistan but the entire region,” the statement claimed.

Riaz Haq said…
#China Plans $3.5B #Investment in #Pakistani #Port Project. Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone, or #KCCDZ to include constructing a mixed-use residential/commercial/seaport project on underutilized lands of the #Karachi Port Trust. #CPEC

At this year's joint meeting on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Pakistan's Ministry of Maritime Affairs came away with a huge commitment. The Chinese government has agreed to make a direct investment - not a loan - of $3.5 billion in the Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone, or KCCDZ. This massive proposal would include constructing a mixed-use residential/commercial/seaport project on underutilized lands belonging to the Karachi Port Trust.

Illustrations of the 1,500-acre development show a mixture of high- and mid-rise buildings on a strip of reclaimed land, just across an inlet from Karachi's TP3 sewage treatment plant. The illustration suggests that its new buildings and roads will also replace the Machar Colony neighborhood, an unplanned settlement also known as the Fisherman's Colony. This area is home to about 150,000 people, primarily low-income residents who work in fishing or shrimp-processing, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres.

In a release, Pakistan's Ministry of Maritime Affairs said that the project would include residential resettlement assistance for "more than 20,000 families living in the surrounding slums."

The proposed development also appears to transform the fishing harbor on the port's West Wharf - a jam-packed marina for small fishing vessels - into a new waterfront commercial district. According to the ministry, a new "state-of-the-art fishing port" will take its place, along with a "world-class fisheries export processing zone," according to the ministry.

KCCDZ will also add four new ship berths for the Karachi Port Trust, located on the new, reclaimed "peninsula" in the harbor. It will also add a giant harbor bridge across Baba Channel, giving the new district a direct highway connection with Karachi's container terminals. It also adds an extra sewage plant adjacent to the existing TP3 facility.

"The KCCDZ will unlock Pakistan’s unexplored Blue Economy and significantly enhance development and industrial cooperation between the two brotherly countries," the ministry said. "The KCCEZ is a game-changer for Pakistan."
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan to Boost Shipping Fleet to Tackle Global Logistics Crisis. #Pakistan has over 1,000 Km coastline & 3 major ports, including #Karachi. It's close to #Africa, #MiddleEast, #Arab Gulf oil. Pak NSC has a fleet of 11 ships, wants to buy another 4 ships

Pakistan is working to boost the capacity of its shipping fleet to draw on its strategic geographical position and help tackle the effects of a global supply chain crisis, the country’s maritime minister told Reuters.

Pakistan has a coastline of over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and three major ports, including Karachi. It is two days sailing time from destinations in Africa and the Middle East and its western shoreline is close to the Strait of Hormuz oil chokepoint.

A surge in demand for retail goods from people stuck at home under pandemic-related lockdowns and logjams impacting the supply of container ships and boxes to transport cargo have led to bottlenecks around the globe, which are set to continue into 2022.

Pakistan's Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said the country is in negotiations "through a public private mechanism to create joint ventures to expand into container shipping".

"The supply chain problems are faced by everyone and Pakistan is also affected. There are issues everywhere and this is one of the ways we are trying to deal with this longer term," he said on a visit to London.

The state-controlled Pakistan National Shipping Corporation has a fleet of 11 ships including oil tankers and dry bulkers and has issued a tender for another four ships, Zaidi said.

Pakistan would initially charter space on container ships "and test the market before we start discussion on how many (container ships) we acquire," he added.

Pakistan was also seeking to develop as a port hub for landlocked central Asian countries, Zaidi said, and that it was vital critical supplies reached neighboring Afghanistan after the Taliban's victory in August.

"The world and the financial superpowers cannot and should not abandon Afghanistan. If they do, it will be a catastrophic humanitarian (crisis)," he said. "It is our moral obligation to help them."

U.N. agency UNCTAD said in November smaller countries are expected to feel the most impact from the higher costs of importing goods.
Riaz Haq said…
The protests were based on two primary grievances, each of which have implications beyond the tiny port city of Gwadar. The first is a reduction in fishing opportunities, particularly important for a district where 65 per cent of the population are fishermen. Thousands of deep-sea fishing vessels, including some owned by Chinese companies, are devastating the fish population in the waters off Gwadar. Deep-sea fishing vessels use long fish-catching nets, which also catch eggs and small fish, leaving little for locals.

China’s demand for seafood is seemingly insatiable. According to a study by Stockholm University, China will require up to 18 million tons of additional seafood to satisfy its expected domestic consumption by 2030. In July this year, five Chinese deep-sea vessels were intercepted near Gwadar on suspicion of illegal fishing. The trawlers, subsequently found to be loaded with fish, were taken into custody by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. This incursion further aggravated protesters, who are now demanding a complete end to deep-sea fishing in the 12 nautical-mile sea limit off Gwadar.

The second reason for the protests is the plethora of issues experienced by local residents due to the security arrangements of Chinese personnel working on BRI projects. Chinese workers in Gwadar have been under attack by Baloch insurgents who blame China for the exploitation of their resources. As a result, Gwadar has been heavily militarised. Local residents must pass through numerous checkpoints on a daily basis, where they have to prove their identity and at times are refused passage. Recently, locals have resorted to protest against the daily humiliation of justifying their movements and have demanded an end to the security controls.

Pakistan’s Senate was advised in late November that China would receive 91 per cent of the revenue generated by Gwadar port.

Despite multiple public demonstrations, the Pakistan government has not fulfilled any of the protesters’ demands, which also include improvements to water supply, electricity and roads. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in a tweet that he has taken notice, but there has been no concrete follow-up action. Now protesters say they will block operations of Chinese-controlled Gwadar port and its allied expressways. They have also announced a long march to the capital Islamabad if demands are not met.

Indirectly, Chinese interests in Gwadar have become a target of protesters’ demands. Although the demonstrations are not explicitly anti-Chinese, the demands put forth are in direct opposition to Chinese goals. For instance, Pakistan’s Senate was advised in late November that China would receive 91 per cent of the revenue generated by Gwadar port. Gwadar protesters led by Rehman are now demanding that 98 per cent of the revenue be retained by Gwadar and that only 2 percent goes to China. China has spent billions of dollars in Pakistan with the anticipation of substantial revenue from Gwadar port in the future.

The Gwadar sit-in protest was temporarily called off last week when the government announced it would accept the demands of protestors. The movement’s leader has said that if the government fails to implement the promised changes, they will protest again with more intensity.
Riaz Haq said…
Gwadar Pro Official

China state-affiliated media
Gwadar Oceanographic Research Sub-Station all set to start
Considering Gwadar's geographic importance, the government plans to begin construction of the "Gwadar Oceanographic Research Sub-Station" on January 6th under the patronage of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIC).


NIC official told Gwadar Pro that research will involve areas of geological processes and geomorphology of the coastal areas, sedimentation and sedimentary processes in Indus Delta and Makran Margin, geo-hazards and coastal environment, exploration of placer minerals and other non-living resources, identification and evaluation of potential areas for hydrocarbon resources in EEZ, and study of sub-bottom strata for the laying submarine cables and pipelines and building coastal length.

NIO is the only R&D research organization in Pakistan for multidisciplinary oceanographic research with an experienced and well qualified team of scientists and technicians. Since the establishment of NIO, efforts have been made to enhance the R&D capabilities oceanography and a number of projects of national and international level have been undertaken.

The latest major achievement of NIO is the submission of Case for the Extension of Pakistan's Continental Shelf to the United Nation's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). It is estimated that an area of more than 50,000 sq km of the extended continental shelf can be annexed to the existing 240,000 sq km offshore area of EEZ.

Riaz Haq said…
India’s Trade Dreams Snubbed As The World’s Biggest Ship Gives It A Miss

India’s goal of being a trade hub hit a major snag on January 11, when the world’s biggest boxship, Ever Alot, gave it a miss because of port infrastructural issues. Meanwhile, the economically hit Sri Lanka and the south-east nation Malaysia have been visited by Ever Alot in recent times.

Although the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust highlighted that the Mundra Port run by Adani could handle the 24000 TEU ship, Ever Alot decided to skip it over the lack of a 17-meter draft. To berth the 400 meters long ship, such a draft was crucial.

So far, the Mundra Port has handled ships as big as APL Raffles, a 17,292-TEU ship, in January last year. The vessel was carrying 13,159 TEUs onboard at that time.

Riaz Haq said…
Gwadar’s 1.2 MGD water plant completed: GPA - Pakistan Observer

In order to provide clean water to residents of Gwadar, 1.2 MGD seawater desalination plant has finally been completed as per schedule. Formal inauguration is all set to be executed by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his likely visit to Gwadar after Eid Holidays. Talking to Gwadar Pro, Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) project director Dawood Baloch said water desalination plant has been done and dusted with a grant of Rs. 2 billion from China in collaboration with Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), National Engineering Services Pakistan and China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC).

Along with completion of Civil, mechanical and electrical work, Central room of 1.2 MGD desalination water plant is now up and running, he informed. Almost 90 percent manpower and human resource, he said, have been hired from local market of Gwadar and Balochistan. On a query, he said that all related equipment and apparatus have been installed in befitting manner to keep desalination water plant functional with full capacity.


Gwadar to get clean drinking water

A pipeline 152 kilometers in length, connected to two newly-constructed dams, Shadi Kor and Sod, will provide clean drinking water to Gwadar city.

"The government is taking all possible steps to prevent a water shortage and supply clean water to the people," Public Health Engineering (PHE) Secretary Saleh Baloch said. Uninterrupted water supply to people's homes should be ensured, and no negligence will be tolerated in this regard, he added.

He expressed these views while presiding over the review meeting regarding Gwadar's ‘Ab-noshi’ projects. Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Izzat Nazir Baloch, PHE Executive Engineer Shakeel Ahmed Baloch, Development Institute Gwadar Chief Engineer Haji Syed Muhammad Baloch, Health Engineering SDO Engineer Shezar Amir, and other officers were also present in the meeting.

Chief Engineer Syed Muhammad Baloch said that the water capacity of Shadi Kor Dam is 35 thousand acre-feet, while the water capacity of Sod Dam is 46 thousand acre-feet.

Riaz Haq said…
Eight months into Pakistan’s financial calendar, the country’s seafood exports are up 23 percent by volume and 12 percent by value year-over-year.

Between July 2022 and February 2023, Pakistan exported 126,270 metric tons (MT) of seafood valued at USD 300.2 million (EUR 275.3 million), up from 100,154 MT valued at USD 267.8 million (EUR 245.5 million) in the same period the year prior. Seafood exports grew nearly 5.8 percent by volume and 5.6 percent by value in February 2023 compared to the month prior, hitting totals of 18,548 MT of exports valued at USD 38.3 million (EUR 35.1 million), according to The Nation.

Exports to China fueled the growth, according to Ghulam Qadir, the commercial counselor in Pakistan’s Embassy in Beijing, speaking with China Economic Net. In 2022, Pakistan exported USD 198.3 million (EUR 181.8 million) in seafood to China, up from USD 139.3 million (EUR 127.7 million) in 2021, when Pakistani exporters struggled with strict import restrictions in China. Pakistan’s exports of frozen fish nearly doubled in value year-over-year in 2022, reaching USD 63.3 million (EUR 58.0 million) in value and 30,637 MT in volume, up from USD 33.4 million (EUR 30.6 million) and 18,987 MT in 2021.

“The increase in Pakistan’s seafood exports to China is largely attributed to the increasing demand for fish of the Chinese people and the growing popularity of Pakistani fish in Chinese restaurants,” Qadir said. “This has led to a successive increase in Pakistani seafood exports every year since 2020.”

The China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement has been a boon to Pakistani seafood exporters, Qadir said, with more seafood species being added to the list of zero-tariff items over the past year.

“Now many Pakistani seafood exporters enjoy zero-traffic duty on seafood items while they are getting more awareness about China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement,” he told Pakistan Today in December 2022.

More Pakistani seafood exporters are interested in exporting to China and are seeking collaborations with Chinese companies that will help them boost production, including sharing of aquaculture technology expertise and best practices, Qadir said. An expansion of the Gwadar fishing port has also helped Pakistan expand its exports to China.

Pakistan exports seafood to around 45 countries …

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