The Petroleum Division is planning to hold open bidding for 20 new oil and gas exploration blocks by the year-end, aimed at making the country self-sufficient in the energy sector.
The government, during its first year in power, had awarded five new exploration blocks through a transparent bidding process, a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments said on Tuesday.
He said that the government was preparing a summary for creation of new oil and gas exploration blocks in potential areas from erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan, which would be presented before the Council of Common Interests for approval.
Explaining the existing exploration licensing zones, he said that the country had been divided into four zones: West Balochistan-Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar, East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins, Lower Indus Basins and Indus and Makran Basins.
He said that some zones were considered high-risk areas before, but now, after improved security situation, these parts of the country are being added to the potential hydrocarbon areas.
Answering a question, the official said that currently, the country’s total sedimentary area is around 827,268 sq km out of which around 39 percent 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 reserves since long. However, the country has sufficient potential in different sedimentary pockets, but it needs a robust strategy.
He stated that, this was a fact that Oil and Gas Exploration and Production companies were planning to start work on some exploration blocks, which faced delays due to security issues in different areas of Balochistan.
Meanwhile, the OGDCL, on the basis of satellite imagery, completed in-house geological mapping of the Kohlu Block, covering an area of 2,459.1 sq km in districts of Kohlu, Barkhan and Dera Bugti.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway to perform geological fieldwork and 2D seismic data acquisition in the blocks pending since 2004, which will complete in eight to ten months, the official added.
Pakistan’s Hydrocarbon Reservoirs to Deplete
Quoting a recent study about the fast depleting hydrocarbon reservoirs in the country, a senior official privy to the petroleum sector feared that the deposits would deplete by 60 percent by the year 2027.
The official underlined the need to accelerate exploration activities in the potential areas on a war footing, saying, “The country’s energy demand is increasing and local production is decreasing with each passing day.”