Six petroleum exploration blocks awarded to state-run firms

Published April 24, 2021
The government on Friday awarded six petroleum exploration blocks in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab to state-run oil and gas exploration and development companies. — Reuters/File
The government on Friday awarded six petroleum exploration blocks in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab to state-run oil and gas exploration and development companies. — Reuters/File

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

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.

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.

OGDCL is a public limited company engaged in exploration and production (E&P) activities in the country for the last four decades. The company holds the largest share of 41 per cent in oil and 36pc in gas out the total reserves in the country. Its percentage share of total oil and gas production in Pakistan is 47pc and 29pc, respectively. OGDCL is the operator of 41 exploration licences and working interest owner in six other exploration blocks operated by various E&P companies.

OGDCL is currently producing 35,805 barrel oil per day (bopd) of oil, 1,012 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas, 761 tonnes of LPG and 53 tonnes of sulphur per day.

PPL is also a public limited company engaged in exploration and production activities in the country. It is Pakistan’s oldest and largest E&P company incorporated in 1950. Its percentage share of total oil and gas production in Pakistan is 13pc and 19pc, respectively. PPL is the operator in 26 exploration licences and working interest owner in 17 other exploration blocks operated by various E&P companies. PPL is currently producing 10,076bopd of Oil, 673mmcfd of gas and 238 million tonnes of LPG.

MPCL is primarily an exploration and production company in the upstream segment of the petroleum industry. Its principal business activities include oil and gas exploration, drilling, field development, production and distribution of hydrocarbons (including natural gas, crude oil, condensate and LPG) as well as provision of E&P-related services on a commercial basis.

Mari Petroleum is an integrated exploration and production company currently managing and operating Pakistan’s largest gas reservoir at Mari gas field in Daharki, Sindh. MPCL is the second largest gas producer in the country with 753mmcfd gas and 1,722bopd oil. MPCL is the operator in six development and production leases, 11 exploration licences and working interest owner in seven other exploration blocks operated by various E&P companies.

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.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2021

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