Pakistan's top privatization body has approved the sale of the government's forty percent stake in the lucrative Badin-1 oil field for $143 million to a consortium comprising BP Pakistan Exploration & Production and Occidental Oil & Gas Pakistan. A statement by the Cabinet Committee on Privatization said that the bid was approved after the consortium raised their offer from $131.5 million. According to the statement, the committee also approved the sale of the government's twenty percent stake in Turkwal field to the Attock Oil Company after the company agreed to raise the offer to two million dollars from $1.6 million. Last month, the Privatization Commission sold minority government stakes in five oil fields for $42.89 million. The sales mark the most significant privatization deals in the energy sector since September 11th as Pakistan's privatization efforts were stalled following the terrorist attack in the US and the consequent conflict in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan produces only 56,000 barrels of day of oil, far short of the country's domestic demand of 385,000 barrels per day. More than forty percent of the oil produced comes from the Badin oil field, which is run by Union Texas.
A fire has sparked on board the Russian aircraft-carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which currently undergoes repairs. The fire has engulfed the entire power compartment of the vessel