A revival of exploration and production activities in the country is a key objective of the incumbent government, said the Minister for Energy, Omar Ayub, during a meeting with the heads of the E&P companies.
During the meeting, the minister said that this will allow for the tapping of resources in majorly unexplored areas, and added, “The onset of E&P activities would also help to expand the oil and gas business, create job opportunities in the country, as well as a possible decrease in the import bill”.
Representatives from the Dewan Group, Orient Petroleum, the Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Mari Petroleum, the Petroleum Exploration Company, and the PGiNG attended the meeting.
A report by the Petroleum Division revealed that around 96 percent of the country’s exploration wells have been drilled in the Kohat and Potwar basins and the lower and middle Indus basins, and that only four percent of the remaining exploration wells been drilled in other basins. It also detailed that vast areas in Balochistan, the Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are unexplored.
Minister Ayub said that the government aims at self-sufficiency in oil and gas through the auctioning of new oil and gas blocks and the expediting of the output of the E&P sector.
The meeting also discussed the new bidding rounds of the oil and gas blocks, including offshore blocks, the revocation of the existing blocks, and the amendment of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules for the state-owned oil and gas enterprises.
The petroleum division has formulated a new petroleum exploration and production policy that contains various incentives to attract foreign direct investment and potential investors. Under this policy that is currently pending approval, the period of exploration license will be reduced from nine years to seven years, and the appraisal renewal period will also be cut down to one year from two years.