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