Saudi Arabia will extend a $3.2 billion deferred payment facility to Pakistan for petroleum products from the start of July, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Wednesday.The facility will be worth $275 million per month and will amount to $3.2bn per year for a period of three years, he said. In a message posted on Twitter, Dr Hafeez Shaikh thanked the crown prince of Saudi Arabia for his continuous support for the people of Pakistan. He said the facility will help strengthen Pakistan’s balance of payments position as the country is faced with a current account crisis.“Would like to Thank The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Muhammad Bin Salman for his continuous support for the people of Pakistan,” the adviser posted on his Twitter handle. “From 1st July 2019 KSA is activating the deferred payment for petroleum products facility of US$ 275mn per month amounting to US$3.2 Billion per year for 3 years. This will strengthen Pakistan’s Balance of Payments position,” he added. Retweeting the finance adviser’s post, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar welcomed the good news and said it will greatly help Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves as well.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that exploration remained a neglected area in the past and in order to capitalise on the existing potential of the sector, the government is working on a new petroleum policy offering incentives to foreign exploration and production companies and removing impediments in way of undertaking smooth and profitable business ventures. The prime minister stated this while talking to Kuwait Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Shaikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah, who along with his delegation called on him at the PM Office.The prime minister appreciated company’s contribution towards imparting training to the local manpower in E&P sector. Shaikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah briefed the prime minister about Kuwait Petroleum’s business ventures in Pakistan since 1980s in the area of exploration. He evinced keen interest in further expanding of business activities in the country.The prime minister welcomed Shaikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah and his delegation to Pakistan and assured government’s continued support to the company in their smooth business operations. He highlighted various steps that the present government has taken for improving ease of doing business and facilitation of foreign investment. Punjab Energy Minister Dr M Akhtar Malik briefed the meeting about various initiatives being taken by Punjab government in the petroleum sector.Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan and senior officials were present during the meeting.Meanwhile, the Petroleum Division on Wednesday signed petroleum concession agreement (PCA) and exploration licence for Makhad block with Kirthar Pakistan. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Federal Minister for Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan.The minister on the occasion appreciated the hard work of Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions and said the efforts will prove beneficial for providing additional hydrocarbon reserves during the next few years. He said the agreement would not only attract foreign direct investment in the petroleum sector but also contribute in bridging the energy demand and supply gap, said a press release issued here.Makhad Block is located in districts of Attock, Mianwali and Chakwal of Punjab province and Kohat of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The total area of aforesaid block is 1,562.92 square meter.M/s KUFPEC has committed 980 work units to be earned in Makhad Block during first three years of exploration licence. The aforesaid work program will be discharged by acquiring either 600 LKms 2D seismic data or equivalent work units by acquiring 3D seismic data and by drilling +4,500 m exploratory well. KUFPEC will invest minimum US$ 9.8 million in Makhad Block. Apart from minimum firm work commitment, company is obligated to spend a minimum of US $30,000 per year in Makhad block on social welfare schemes.