Pakistan: The Richest country in natural resources!!!

Thar coal reserves have 175 billion tonnes of coal, which is equivalent to 618 billion barrels of crude oil recently informed by VC of The university of the Punjab. Following is the list of top 5 oil reserve countries of the world:

Country             Reserves (bbl)        Production/day (mbl)       Reserve life (yr)

Saudi Arabia          260                             8.8                                81
Canada                  179                             2.7                               182
Iran                       136                             3.9                                96
Iraq                       115                             3.7                                85
Kuwait                  99                                2.5                               108

175 billion tons of Thar according to Professor Dr Mujahid Kamran equal 618 billion barrels of crude oil. This is more than twice if we compare it with oil reserves of KSA and equal to total oil reseves of top 4 countries. If like KSA, we utilize about 10 million of it per day, it would suffice for more than 200 years. Not to forget other resources that Pakistan have when compared with KSA. For example, we have largest gold/copper ore deposits at Saindak (Baluchistan) dying to be expoited. Under the barren mountains of Balochistan and hot sands of Sindh, there is unlimited amount of oil and gas reserves not touched yet. And still further, we have furtile lands of Punjab, ready to feed a population twice as big as we are now, the best irrigation system (waiting for more water reservoirs to enrich it), and the best qulaity cotton and rice. Last but not the least, we have brave Pushtoons, the vigor of courage that is essential for a nation. We have population, young brains and exploding urban middle class to enrich the intellectual and culture needs of the nation.
What else we want? It is pedalogical to know that Saudi Arabia only sells about 9 million Barrels of Oil per day. It has the best infrastructure in the world, with a cradle to grave welfare system for its citizens, superb freeways, fantastic hospitals and an infrastructure that is the envy of the world. Pakistan’s credit crunch in temporary. Once the country gets over the hump in the next few years, it can begin improving its infrastructure which is the best in South Asia even now. We hope it to be true soon.

Note: The post is based on an email sent at


4 thoughts on “Pakistan: The Richest country in natural resources!!!

  1. Hi Batholith

    I am not too sure about the utility of Thar coal. But it cannot be ‘trash’ all the way. But let’s not get into discussion. In fact, a professional can prove to be idealist sometimes. And I appreciate your professional view in this regard. Still I can sense some appreciation for the value of Thar coal due to indulgence of foreign firms and government, particularly for its usage in power generation.

    Do you have any reason to believe that the claim about 6 trillion barrels of oil deposits is not true? I mean there are investigatory evidence provided by government itself. It may be weak but there is no reason to deny that. Yes, there can be a political stunt behind this publicity to groom the nationlist activism in these areas. I am not sure about it.

    Thanks for well informed remarks. Be in touch.

    Kashif Zia

  2. Hi Kashif,

    You say, “If like KSA, we utilize about 10 million of it per day…”. KSA is extracting that amount for export, not local consumption. If we produce even a fraction of the electricity you quote from Thar coal, our oil import bill will not cover the damage caused by acid rain due to the nature of Thar coal. The article you quote (, itself calls this lignite, as well. I hope you know the differences. Certainly, coal beneficiation can help, but, once again, due to the nature of our coal, it is quite inefficient.

    All the sources you quote are suspect as they are mainstream media press release and opinion based, therefore meaningless. I quote, “I have read on many places that the estimated oil potential of Baluchistan is 6 trillion barrels oil. ON SHORE and OFFSHORE.” There are several potentially oil bearing areas, especially offshore, but none have yet produced much of note during exploration. One thing I do agree with is that Rekodiq is a world class deposit.

    Please do read more about these issues and I apologize if I came across as rude. It is a matter close to my heart, personally as well as professionally.

    Best Regards,

  3. Thanks for a balanced response. I agree with most of the things that you have mentioned. But here I want to answer some misconceptions about the post.

    The Thar coal is not of ‘best’ quality. Technically it is lignite-B to sub-bituminous-A ( placed at 14.01 and 10.26 US dollar respectively. The highest grade coal prices can go up to 43 US dollars ( But the fuel resource is not for the purpose of export only. We spend a huge amount of foreign reserves buying the oil. We are facing shortage of electricity. The Thar coal is very suitable for thermal power plants to produce low cost electricity. Work is already under way in this direction ( The main emphasis of the post was not the quality of the coal, it was about extend of coal deposits that we have in a single place. VC of the university was not entirely wrong. I have also seen a similar claim at which states:
    “Pakistan is currently world’s seventh largest coal-producing country with coal reserves of more than 185 billion tons (second in the world after U.S.A.’s 247 billion tons). Almost all (99 percent) of Pakistan’s coal reserves are found in the province of Sindh.Pakistan’s largest coal field is Thar coal field which is spread over an area of 9100 square kilometers, and contains 175 billion tons of coal. So far this coal field has not been developed but efforts are underway. There are estimates that approximately 50,000 MW electricity can be produced from thar coal field. It is equivalent to the 400 billion barrels of oil reserves, i.e., Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s put together.”

    Your comments helped me understand the scope of Saindak. At the same time, it hinted bigger possibilities like Rekodiq and Koh-e-Sultan. It is said to be the World’s 5th largest gold, copper reserve ( Similarly, I tried to find some reference for potential of oil under Balochistan. There are many witnesses available, even at Government level. So we should not have any doubt about it. I just paste here original text from one of my finding ( And it is in fact 6 trillion barrels.
    “I have read on many places that the estimated oil potential of Baluchistan is 6 trillion barrels oil. ON SHORE and OFFSHORE. [Environment News Service, 27 October 2006]
    This was also mentioned by Geological survey of pakistan.” By untouched, I meant that not a single drop of it is extracted yet. Yes, it can be debated, if this fact is proven, why it is not publicized?

    I do not want to go into details of water and agriculture. I wrote these sentences because we have been hearing about it from our childhood. And I hope it to be true. There is no harm in being optimistic (to an extend that does not hinder progress). There are definite drawbacks of being pessimistic.

    Lastly, the comparison with KSA was just a natural as it is the largest oil exporting country. I did not mean to call KSA as welfare state. The purpose was the relative comparison of roads, transport, housing and how the cities are managed.

    All the Best

  4. Your entire post is riddled with inaccuracies. If this sort of ill informed material is espoused by the VC of a major institute of learning, he should be drawn and quartered. Thar coal is of terrible quality and not an exportable commodity. Saudi Arabia and the other countries mentioned export their oil. No one wants to import Thar coal. It is an exceedingly dirty fuel.

    Saindak is a small deposit with a design life of 19 years at most. It will not last that long. Both Rekodiq and Koh-e-Sultan are bigger deposits.

    The untouched oil and gas, do you mean to say that the companies that have been exploring that area are deliberately not discovering deposits of note?

    Our irrigation system is leaky and riddled with mismanagement as far as the distribution is concerned. Our methodology of flooding fields is wasteful and inefficient. There was a World Bank paper written years ago that calculated that improving our canals and irrigation methods would save more water than the total storage capacity of Tarbela. We used to have good rice and reasonable cotton before the farmers were forced to use seeds mandated by the Government. Now, we cannot compete. By the way, compare the per acre productivity of Indian Punjab with Pakistani Punjab.And then compare yield per unit of water.

    Saudi Arabia does not have a decent welfare system, its citizens do not have access to a good education or even jobs. Perhaps you’re thinking of the Scandinavian countries. They have a better infrastructure, as well.

    We can only progress through application, not through misinformation, bad education, and wishful thinking.

    Best Regards,

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