Govt awards six petroleum exploration blocks to state-run firms

The government on Friday awarded six petroleum exploration blocks in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab to state-run oil and gas exploration and development companies.

According to a report by Dawn, the exploration licences (ELs) and petroleum concession agreements (PCAs) were signed by Petroleum Secretary Mian Asad Hayaud Din and Director General of Petroleum Concessions Abdul Jabbar Memon on behalf of the government and Managing Director of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) Shahid Saleem Khan, Managing Director of Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) Faheem Haider and Managing Director of Pakistan Petroleum Limited Moin Raza Khan at a ceremony witnessed by newly appointed Minister for Energy Mohammad Hammad Azhar.

The director general of Petroleum Concession, Petroleum Division, signed PCAs and ELs over Block No. 3068-6 (Killa Saifullah) and Block No. 3067-7 (Sharan) in Balochistan with OGDCL and MPCL; Block No. 3069-9 (Suleiman-Balochistan) with OGDCL and PPL; and Block No. 2467-17 (Sujawal South) in Sindh, Block No. 3273-5 (Jhelum) and Block No. 3272-16 (Lilla) with OGDCL.

The Petroleum Conces­sion director general reported that minimum firm work commitment for these blocks was $24.68 million for a period of three years. The companies are obligated to spend a minimum of $30,000 per year in each block on social welfare schemes. Annual social welfare obligation in respect of these six blocks is $180,000.

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The Killa Saifullah block covering an area of 2421.96 sq-km is located in Killa Saifullah district, while the Sharan block covering an area of 2497.89 sq-km is situated in Killa Saifullah and Zhob districts. The Suleiman block covering an area of 2172.89 sq-km is located in Musakhel, Zhob, Killa Saifullah and Loralai districts. The Sujawal South block covering an area of 1914.1 sq-km is located in Sujawal district of Sindh. The Jhelum block covering an area of 1524.65 sq-km is located in districts of Jhelum, Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin, while the Lilla block covering an area of 2361.12 sq-km is situated in Chakwal, Jhelum and Khushab districts.

The energy minister expressed the hope that licences would benefit the country in the form of additional hydrocarbon reserves over the next few years. He said the execution of ELs and PCAs would not only enhance investment in the petroleum sector but also contribute to bridging the gap between demand and supply of energy in the country.

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