January 15, 2019: The energy scarced nation is anxiously waiting for a good news about confirmation of gas and oil deposits in ultra-deep waters after a state-of-the-art drillship “Mother of All Rigs” has started its operation at the offshore Indus G-Block called Kekra-I some 230-km off the Karachi coast.
Experts believe that there are massive hydrocarbon reserves, sufficient for 50-year needs of the country, if proven, for which the government brought world leading companies in Pakistan to try its luck in offshore explorations.
The Exxon Mobil, a US-based and one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, re-entered Pakistan's market after a 27-year break along with joint venture partner ENI for the exploration.
On Sunday night, an exploration-fleet consisting of a major drilling ship, three supply vessels and two helicopters, started drilling work and compiled a 12-hour preliminary report for onward submission to the companies’ experts.
The drilling is being carried out around 5,800 meters deep from the sea level and expected to complete in a period of two months.
Meanwhile, official sources said that the government was committed to extending all possible facilities to the companies interested in carrying out offshore drilling activities as the country was in dire need of a major gas and oil discovery.
A number of local and foreign Exploration and Production (E&P) companies were operating in different potential areas for years but could not find significant reserves matching the country’s requirements, they said.
To encourage offshore exploration activities, the government had exempted additional customs duty on import of offshore drilling equipment to tap unexplored hydrocarbon reserves in the country.
“In future, there will be clearance of vessels, drill ships and helicopters without any levy, duty or charges whatsoever including customs duty. This dispensation is extended to all companies and joint venture partners who are party to any Production Sharing Agreement with the government for offshore petroleum exploration and production activities,” they said.