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Oil struck near Jhelum

Updated June 07, 2014


- File Photo
- File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A major oil reserve has been discovered near Jhelum in Punjab, opening up a new area for exploitation of hydrocarbon potential.

With an estimated production of 5,500 barrels per day, the Ghauri X-1 oil well is expected to be the country’s largest oil-producing well and is likely to start contributing its output to the system by the end of this month.

With the Petroleum Ministry’s consent, the Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) which operates the Ghauri Joint Venture (GJV), formally announced that it had made “a significant oil discovery” in the Ghauri X-1 oil well, located in the Dhemak village of district Jhelum.

“We have made a major oil discovery in the Sakessar Formation, in the eastern Potohar region in Ghauri X-1 Well,” said the company in a public announcement.

“The 3,800 metre-deep Ghauri Well is a landmark achievement, being the first hydrocarbon discovery in the eastern part of Potohar Plateau,” said the announcement.

This will go a long way in exploiting the so-far untapped potential in the area for other exploration and production companies, the statement said.

The oil from the Ghauri X-1 well has an API gravity of 22º and flows from the Sakessar Formation at a rate of 5,500 barrels per day. The well’s pressure (post-acid) is 1100psi and the well’s gauge or choke size is 32/64, the statement said, adding that oil reserves at the well are estimated at 22 million barrels.

Crude oil with an API gravity of 22º is known as heavy crude.

According to the company, additional reserves may also be present in the Kussak Formation, where oil flows at the rate of 136 barrels per day with a nitrogen kick-off, owing to the tight nature of the reservoir.

Sources said the company would be widening the road from the oilfield to the Rawalpindi-Lahore Grand Trunk Road, but would start transporting oil to the Attock Refinery near Rawalpindi by end of this month.

The company has also taken up the laying of a 14-kilometre pipeline from the Dhemak oil field to a filling point near Sohawa on the G.T. Road so that oil could be transported through tankers to the Attock Refinery.

The company is also considering setting up a refinery near Sohawa to refine crude oil as production from other fields is also expected to increase, an official said.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2014