17 new oil and gas exploration blocks await security clearance

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division has forwarded a case of around 17 onshore oil and gas exploration blocks to the quarters concerned for security clearance and subsequent initiation of activities to discover hydrocarbon reserves in all four provinces of the country.

The new exploration areas consist of Block-2668-23 (Khewari East) with spanning over 1451.23 square kilometer area in Sindh; Block-2966-2 (Chah Bali) with 2488.95 sq km area in Balochistan; Block-2967-5 (Mach) with 2496.31 sq km area in Balochistan; Block-2970-9 (Jampur) with 2465.76 sq km area in Punjab; Block-3068-9 (Nareli) with 2414.95 sq km area in Balochistan; Block-2467-17 (Sujawal South) having 1914.1 sq  km area in Sindh; Block-2871-7 (Khangarh West) with 2487.11 sq km in Punjab; Block-2367-8 (Jhor Wah) having 2308.06 sq km in Sindh; Block-2767-2 (Gaj) with 1473.82 sq km in Sindh and Balochistan; Block-2869-15 (Meeranpur) with 2474.64 sq km in Balochistan and Punjab; Block-2967-6 (Sibi) having 1911.63 sq km in Balochistan; Block-2867-6 (Dadhar) having 2494.98 sq km in Balochistan; Block 3269-3 (Wana) with 1748.3 sq km area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Block-3269-4 (Razmak) with 2381.94 sq km in KP, Block 3269-5 (Miran Shah) with 1427.07 sq km in KP; Block-2767-3 (Hiden) with 857 sq km in Sindh; while Block 3273-6 (Garmala) having area of 2379.27 sq km in Punjab.

Official data available with AAP reveals that currently 38 active exploration licenses were awarded to both local and foreign national oil companies, which are undertaking exploration studies and projects in their allocated areas.

The exploration and production (E&P) companies, operating in Pakistan, have so far drilled 18 offshore oil and gas wells including Kekra-I to discover hydrocarbon deposits in the deep sea waters, but failed to get the required results.

A senior official privy to the petroleum sector developments told APP that the country was in dire need of a big discovery as existing hydrocarbon reserves were depleting fast and its reliance on imported gas and oil was increasing with each passing day.

Quoting a recent study, he feared that the existing deposits would further deplete 60 per cent by the year 2027 and underlined the need for stepping up exploration activities in potential areas on war-footing.

In a bid to accelerate oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country, the official said the government was in process of floating an international tender for award of new exploration blocks.

The tenders would be given in international dailies soon, for which the required formalities are being fulfilled, the official added.

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