Pakistan mulls new oil exploration blocs in erstwhile FATA and Balochistan

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Pakistan mulls new oil exploration blocs in erstwhile FATA and Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has around 568 Million Barrel (MMBBL) oil and 21,446 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) gas reserves, out of which 82,653 barrel oil and 3,755 MMCF gas is being extracted on daily basis from the existing fields operating in different parts of the country.

“The existing reserves are depleting fast as there is no major oil and gas discovery since long.

The country’s total gas demand is more or less 7,000 Million Cubic per Day (MMCFD) against the total production of 3,755 MMCFD, which is being met through import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to some extent,” a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told APP.

While, almost 50 percent of the total oil consumption is met through import of the commodity, he added.

Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL)’s share in oil and reserves is 23 percent and 38 percent respectively, while it is producing 46 percent of the country’s total oil production and 28 percent of gas production.

According to an official report, oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies, during the last 71 years drilled as many as 2,366 exploratory, appraisal and development wells, yielding around 330 discoveries.

Cognizant of the increasing demand of energy and depleting hydrocarbon reserves, the official said, the government was preparing a summary for creation of new oil and gas exploration block in potential areas of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.

Explaining the existing exploration licensing zones, he said the country had been divided into four zones, consisting of West Balochistan-Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar, East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins, Lower Indus Basins and Indus & Makran Basins.

He said earlier the new zone was considered high security risk area, but now after the improved situation, these parts of the country were being added in potential hydrocarbon reserves under a sufficient security mechanism.

Answering a question, the official said currently the country’s total sedimentary area was around 827,268 square kilometers (KM2), out of which 320, 741 KM or 39 percent of the area was under exploration.

He said it was a fact that multinational companies were least interested in oil and gas exploration sector due to non-discovery of any major hydrocarbon reserve since long. However, the country has sufficient potential in different sedimentary pockets, but it needed a more robust strategy to explore it.

Accordingly, the official said, the Petroleum Division was planning to initiate international bidding process for award of 35 to 40 new exploration blocks in December this year.

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