October 21, 2019: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies, operating in different hydrocarbon potential areas of the country, have made around 110 discoveries during the last five years, with accumulative initial flow rate of 30,383 Barrel Per Day (BPD) oil and 926.6 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas.
The companies found 83 oil and gas deposits in Sindh, 13 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12 in Punjab and two in Balochistan during the period from July 2014 to October, 2019.
Over two dozen oil and gas companies have spent around Rs400 billion in carrying out E&P activities to increase the national hydrocarbon base during 2013-14 to 2017-18.
The companies including Dewan Petroleum, Eni Pakistan, Hycarbex, MOL Pakistan, MPCL, Al-Haj, Nativus, New Horizon, OGDCL, OGIL, Tallahassee, OMV, OPL, PAIGE, OMV Maurice, PEL, POL, POGC, PPL,KPBV, RDC, Saif Energy, Tullow, UEPL and Chian ZhenHua incurred billions of rupees under their respective “exploration licences/mining/ drilling & production leases.”
As per the data, both the public and private sector firms utilized funds amounting to Rs77.432 billion in 2013-14, Rs91.722 billion in 2014-15, Rs92.853 billion in 2015-16, Rs67.974 billion in 2016-17 and Rs70.314 billion in 2017-18 for E&P activities.
Meanwhile, another official document showed that Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and MOL Pakistan have collectively produced around 80.345 Million Barrel (MBL) oil and 700,885 Million Cubic Feet (MMCFT) gas from three districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) during the five-year period.
The companies extracted 14.856 MBL oil from their respective Mardankhel, Maramzai,Nashpa, Manzalai, Makori Deep, Makori East, Makori, Chanda, Mela, Mamikhel, Tolanj and Tolang West fields of Hangu, Karak and Kohat districts in 2013-14. While, they produced 16.279 MBL oil, 15.851 MBL oil, 17.014 MBL oil and 16.344 MBL oil from the same fields during the years 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.
Similarly, the OGDCL and MOL Pakistan extracted 700,885 MMCFT gas from their respective operational areas of the districts during the period under review.
The E&P firms produced 135,129.02 MMCFT gas, 131,207.15 MMCFT gas, 139,255.21 MMCFT gas, 144,116.48 MMCFT gas and 151,177.59 MMCFT gas during the years 2013-14,2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.
According to the data about country’s exploration history in oil and gas sector, as many as 571 licences had been awarded to E&P companies during the last 71 years, who drilled 2,366 exploratory, appraisal and development wells and struck around 330 discoveries.
During the first ten years of Pakistan’s inception from 1947-57, around 40 E&P licences were awarded and the companies drilled 21 exploratory and 22 appraisal/development wells.
From 1957-67, as many as 60 licences were granted under which the companies drilled 74 exploratory and appraisal/development wells.
While, around 51 permits were issued from 1967-77 and E&P companies drilled 30 exploratory and 26 appraisal/development wells.
From 1977 to 1987, as many as 29 licences were awarded and the companies spud 84 exploratory and 230 appraisal/development wells.
During a period from 1987-97, around 126 licences were granted and the companies drilled 205 exploratory wells and 255 appraisal/development wells.
As many as 170 licences were issued from 1997-2007 and the companies spud 241 exploratory and 383 appraisal/development.
In a period of 2007-2018, around 95 licences were granted and the companies drilled 381 exploratory and 514 appraisal/development wells.
A senior official told APP that the government was pursuing a prudent strategy to step up oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country. Under which, the Petroleum Division of Energy Ministry is planning to initiate the open bidding process for 35-40 newly identified exploration blocks in December this year.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, during its first year in power, had awarded five new exploration blocks through a transparent bidding process, whereas the previous government did not award even a single block during its five-year term, he said.
The official said the government had made some policy changes to facilitate new companies in the E&P sector, abolishing 10 unnecessary steps, out of 24-30, required for getting approval to start drilling activities in potential areas.
Replying to a question, he said currently the country’s total sedimentary area was around 827,268 square kilometers, out of which 320, 741 KM was under exploration.
Quoting a recent study about fast depletion of existing hydrocarbon reservoirs in the country, he feared that the deposits would further deplete by 60 percent by the year 2027 and underlined the need for accelerating exploration activities in potential areas on war-footing.