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PESHAWAR: The geological seismic surveys have revealed that around 20 trillion cubic feet natural gas can be explored in different blocks in the militancy-affected Federally Administered Tribal Areas, says a senior official.

“The geological seismic surveys have been completed in few areas of tribal belt and approximately 20 trillion cubic feet gas can be acquired from different zones,” Fata Oil and Gas Facilitation Unit director Azhar Mahboob told Dawn after a workshop here on Wednesday.

The unit has been set up in the Fata Development Authority.

The director said the petroleum ministry had issued licences to different companies for oil and gas exploration in 15 blocks in Fata.

He said the survey for the exploration of oil and gas had been finished in the Frontier Region Bannu bordering North Waziristan Agency.


Official says 20 trillion cubic feet gas can be explored in different blocks of tribal region


Mr. Mahboob said surveys in some soft areas like FR Peshawar, Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan and lower parts of Orakzai Agency were in progress, while gravity survey for oil and gas in North Waziristan Agency had been initiated.

He said the MOL Pakistan had been given the licence for survey in North Waziristan Agency.

“Oil and gas sector is considered a game changer for tribal region,” he said, adding that drilling in those blocks would begin after the completion of the surveys.

The director said investors had been told to begin activities within six months and if that didn’t happen, the federal ministry would be asked to cancel their licences.

The Cell for Fata Studies of the University of Peshawar organised the workshop about the ‘economic currents and opportunities for economic development in tribal areas’. Geologists and students attended the workshop.

Mr. Mahboob said Rs4.5 billion investment had been attracted during the last nine to ten months.

He said the idea had been floated to establish oil and gas company for Fata.

Besides, the governor had also approved a summary to ask the federal government for the inclusion of Fata in all petroleum policies and rules, he added.

Fata minerals manager Hamayun Khan told the workshop that military’s giant Frontier Works Organisation had been given the contract to process copper mines in North Waziristan Agency.

He said under the agreement, 50 per cent of the revenue generated in that way would go to the FWO, 18 per cent to local tribes, 10 per cent to the FDA and 22 per cent to local corporate social responsibility to be spent in social sector.

Mr. Hamayun said the FWO had sublet the contract to its subsidiary, DEW, for the exploration of copper mines in Mohammadkhel of North Waziristan.

He said the estimated deposits of copper in the area were 35 million tons of which eight million tons had been proven.

The manager said exploration of minerals and survey for discovery of oil and gas had been started after restoration of law and order situation in Fata.

He said the tribal areas had rich portfolio of minerals and that the total deposits of fine quality marble were seven billion tons in Bajaur and other parts of Fata.

Mr. Hamayun said two million tons of marble were exported from Fata annually. He said the government would ban the unconventional methods of marble exploration in Fata.

Professor Saddique Akbar of the University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar expressed concern about the use of unconventional techniques in the mining sector of Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said 70-80 per cent of marble was destroyed due to indiscriminate use of explosives in marble and chromites mines.

“The mineral sector contributes only one per cent to the Gross Domestic Product. It can be increased to 20 per cent through proper exploitation of the mineral sector,” he said.

Professor Saddique said there was a shortage of skilled workers in the mining sector. He said the government should act as a facilitator to enable local investors to produce products of international standards.

Dr Altafullah Khan, head of the department of journalism and mass communication at the University of Peshawar, and Dr Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, head of the Fata Cell, also addressed the workshop.

Certificates were later distributed to participants.

Published in Dawn December 22nd, 2016


Comments (9) Closed



Syed F. Hussaini Dec 22, 2016 09:55am

"He said under the agreement, 50 per cent of the revenue generated in that way would go to the FWO, 18 per cent to local tribes, 10 per cent to the FDA and 22 per cent to local corporate social responsibility to be spent in social sector."

Who made the above decision?

Well wishEr Dec 22, 2016 10:05am

Excellent , make sure local people get some benefits!!

AHA Dec 22, 2016 10:16am

This is a good news.

Husain Dec 22, 2016 10:31am

Good News has started coming from FATA

viv Dec 22, 2016 10:52am

Another game changer like Thar coal and Gold reserves found some years ago.

Anwar Mahmood Dec 22, 2016 01:52pm

It is good to have 20 trillion cubic feet of gas added to the already 25-30 trillion cubic feet that Paks have.But it is not nearly as great as Russia has 1600 tcf reserves, Iran has 1300 tcf and dozen other countries have over 150 tcf.

Pakistan has huge reserves of gold, copper , oil and gas, but Paks like all of middle East lack engineering that even Russia and China have compared to America. Countries like all middle East and Asia and Africa produce gold, oil, gas etc, but they have to give back 60 percent money of the sales money to American engineering, equipment, production and development. Even the Saudis get 40 percent of total oil and gas sales and Americans keep 60 percent for engineering, equipment and production.

Russians and the Chinese are not near as prolific and totally independent to get maxed production like the Americans.They are lucky if Russians or the Chinese can produce half compared to the Americans.

M.Saeed Dec 22, 2016 08:03pm

Anything like oil, gas and other precious materials discovered after mining, are the property of the state under the normal international rules. We must legislate the rules, if not already there, before the scavengers pounce upon them and spoil everything in their selfish fights.

Anwar Mahmood Dec 23, 2016 01:44am

@M.Saeed

Legislation or any one's views are not worth anything if you do not have the engineering or the technology to produce, oil, gas, gold or anything.I was invited by the Iranians and the Saudis few years ago and I lectured the entire energy sector of Iran in National Petroleum hall in Tehran. Mr Rasool, the head of Iranian gas then asked me if the Americans or the Canadians can come back to Iran, because Russian and Chinese engineers were dying jumping in sour gas where 50 ppm is death limits. He said Iranian engineers don't want to die un-necessarily. He told me that when Americans or Canadians worked they had H2S detection and alarm pen in there pockets and they moved away when those limits approached.

That is why Russians and the Chinese can produce half and most machinery is America licensed for their super engineering, where every consultant engineer is paid and respected lot more than military chief, PM, President or chief justice of the supreme court.

Alba Dec 23, 2016 02:28am

Good bye coal. Hello natural gas.