Pakistan witnessed an increase of around 80 percent in oil and gas exploration activities in different potential areas during the last four years. The government took a number of initiatives which resulted in drilling of over 179 exploratory and 194 appraisal/developmental wells.
The Exploration and Production (E&P) companies made over 101 new oil and gas discoveries with 40 percent success rate. The increased number of discoveries a ‘record’ in a short span of four years has added over 944 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas in the transmission network across the country and added 32,343 barrels oil per day (BOPD) in the domestic production.
The government encouraged the E&P companies, by providing them maximum incentives, to step up exploration activities in potential areas across the country.
Oil production 29.8 percent, drilling in meterage 52 percent, grant of exploration licences and leases by 39.4 percent and 200 percent respectively as compared to corresponding years of the previous government.
Out of total 101 discoveries, had added proven reserves of about 5.4 tcf gas, while the calculation of 33 wells were yet to be determined.
During the same period, the country is estimated to have consumed about 5.2 tcf gas which means that more than 100 percent replacement had been made for the resource consumed. Besides, over $10 billion foreign investment has poured in the country’s petroleum sector, despite low oil price scenario in international market.
Self-sufficiency in energy sector
Pakistan objective is to become self -sufficient in energy sector with discovery of new oil and gas wells. Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies have planned to drill 90 wells in different areas of the country. Under the plan 50 exploratory and 40 development wells will be drilled in a bid to make the country self-sufficient in the energy sector.
Government had added more than 944 million cubic feet per day gas and 32,343 barrels per day oil in the transmission network across the country through indigenous resources during its first four years.
The E&P companies drilled over 179 exploratory and 194 appraisal wells, resulting in around 101 new discoveries in a period of four years, which is almost 80 percent higher than the finds made during four years of the previous government. The government encouraged the E&P companies by providing them maximum incentives to step up exploration activities in different areas.
Pakistan is among world top 5 countries for oil and gas discoveries in 2017. Pakistan made two key oil and gas discoveries in the third quarter and another three discoveries in the fourth quarter of 2017. These discoveries may have prompted the US-based Exxon-Mobil to join offshore drilling efforts in Pakistan. American energy giant’s entry in Pakistan brings advanced deep sea drilling technology, its long experience in offshore exploration and production and its deep pockets to the country.
US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Pakistan has technically recoverable deposits of 105 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas and 9.1 billion barrels of oil. Exxon-Mobil is expected to accelerate exploration and lead to more discoveries and increased domestic oil and gas production.
Russia led with 10 discoveries, followed by Australia with seven discoveries and Colombia with four discoveries. Pakistan and the UK each had three discoveries in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Global Oil and Gas Discoveries Review.
In fourth quarter of 2017, the Former Soviet Union leads with 12 discoveries, followed by Asia with eight discoveries, and Oceania with seven discoveries.
Europe and South America had five discoveries each, followed by North America with two discoveries, while the Middle East and Africa had one discovery each in the quarter, according to Offshore Technology website.
American energy giant Exxon-Mobil has joined the offshore oil and gas exploration efforts started by Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Italian energy giant ENI.
A Pakistan Basin Study conducted in 2009 found that the country has six onshore and two offshore basins; offshore basins being the Indus basin and the Makran basin in the Arabian Sea.
The Indus offshore basin is a rift basin that geologists say developed after the separation of the Indian Plate from Africa in the late Jurassic period. It is believed to be the second largest submarine fan system in the world after the Bay of Bengal with high probability of hydrocarbon discoveries.
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Pakistan has 586 TCF (trillion cubic feet) of gas in Pakistan of which 105 TCF is technically recoverable. In addition to gas deposits, US EIA estimates there are 227 billion barrels of oil in Pakistan with 9.1 billion barrels being technically recoverable.
Oil and gas exploration and production companies are currently planning to drill 90 wells in different parts of the country. Under the plan, as many as 50 exploratory and 40 development wells would be drilled in a bid to make the country self-sufficient in the energy sector, according to reports.
During the last five years, the sources said the exploration and production companies drilled 445 new wells, out of which 221 were exploratory, adding that the increased exploration activities resulted in 116 new oil and gas discoveries.
Huge deposits of oil and gas discovered in Kohat district
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL) with a joint venture with National Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) have made a huge discovery of oil and gas in Kohat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In Kohat, Baratai Well has become a success with the discovery of massive oil & gas reserves. The well was tested 30 MMCFD of gas and 700 barrel of crude oil.
After several technical meetings, workshops and seismic reinterpretation, drilling was commenced on 24th May, 2017. The Well was drilled to a depth of 5014 meters in a record time of 199 days.
During drilling operations several complications were encountered but KPOGCL and OGDCL solved all the problems as a one team by conducting regular meetings and technical workshops. Baratai discovery is a historic achievement. KPOGCL is the first Provincial Holding Oil & Gas Company to start its production. The discovery will generate over a billion rupees per annum revenues for government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the form of royalty.
The high standards and impossible to achieve vision 2025 set by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for oil & gas sector i.e. 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 2,000 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of gas, is now looking achievable even before 2025.
The Baratai Well-2 is planned to be drilled within the next three months which upon success will further bring the government closer to its 2025 targets. KPOGCL is also in joint venture with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) and OGDCL in Paharpur, Pezu & Kulachi blocks. Drilling will start in these blocks in the next six months.