International oil prices which have surged to the
highest level of the year is one of the major irritants for their
multiplier effects on general prices especially the price of electricity
and transportation cost in Pakistan.
International Benchmark Brent crude oil, which has
already climbed more than a third time this year due to war fears jumped
to over $28 a barrel soon after the US attack on Iraq last week.
In order to find a permanent remedy to this cost
escalating factor in general and a heavy burden on our import bill in
particular, concerted efforts are needed to get rid of this nuisance as
early as possible. Although the production of oil from local resources
is far behind the actual demand in the country yet its production
gradually inching upward from the current 65000 barrel a day. There are
reports of new oil and gas discoveries struck in Sindh by Oil and Gas
Development Company (OGDC) while Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) is
also about to give some good news, it is learnt. However, in the natural
gas sector the country has remarkable growth which may help providing an
effective import substitute at least in the power and transport sector
hopefully in a couple of years.
Working on these lines, the government run
organizations operating in oil and gas exploration have already started
working with an accelerated pace while the more international companies
have also shown their keenness in the oil and gas exploration in
Currently, Sichuan Petroleum, a major Chinese oil and
gas exploring company, already working in Pakistan has shown interest to
expand its operations by joining hands with other companies both in the
public as well as in the private sector in Pakistan. Experts in the oil
and gas sector are attaching great importance to the expansion programme
of the Chinese petroleum giant in Pakistan.
Director for International Cooperation of Sichuan
Petroleum Administration is currently leading a delegation to his
Administration to visit the ongoing projects and explore possibilities
for acquiring more interest in the oil and gas search programme in
Pakistan. Sichuan is already operating in Pakistan. One of its rigs has
successfully drilled well No.13 in Adhi for PPL and is currently working
on PPL's Adhi well No.14.
This Chinese company is planning to bring Pakistan
two more new rigs having drilling capacity up to 7000 meters.
Sichuan has more than 40 years of experience in oil
and gas exploration, production and marketing. It is accredited to have
built the largest natural gas industry in China. The company is known to
have advance experience, equipment and professional force to undertake
all aspects of petroleum exploration, development and production which
include geophysical survey and exploration, drilling engineering etc.
The company is also manufactures CNG refueling stations.
The Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC), as
an operator in a joint venture with OPI and Government Holdings, has
discovered oil and gas from Resham Well-1, located some 20 km north west
of Sanghar in Sindh.
This was the second major discovery within a week,
the fourth consecutive discovery in a row, during the current year in
Sinjhoro Exploration licence of Sanghar District and fifth discovery
over last one year, each from a distinctly different reservoir horizon.
Post-completion short duration test on half-inch
choke size, the Resham well has produced 1400 barrels of condensate with
six million cubic feet of gas per day. All the five discoveries will
produce about 8000 barrels of oil and 40 million cubic feet of gas per
day, which will contribute $116 million per annum towards import
Besides these new discoveries, OGDC has also been
successful in achieving the enhancement of its oil production in the
existing fields from 20,500 barrels per day by carrying out work-over on
various wells over the last one year adding another $35 million per year
to import substitution. The company's present production level is 24,500
barrels of oil, 800 million cubic feet of gas, 210 tons LPG and 60 tons
sulphur per day.
In addition, OGDC carries 6000 barrels oil, 160
million cubic feet gas and 75 tons LPG per day from its 24 non-operated
joint ventures, thus resulting in cumulative foreign exchange savings of
$1.5 billion per annum
Presently, OGDC is planning to further increase its
production capacity to yield additional 6500 barrels oil, 1880 million
cubic feet gas and around 150 tons LPG per day by the end of June 2003.
This will help in import substitution to the tune of $273 million per
Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) has also started
drilling of 5th well at Teshil Khanpur, district Shikarpur from this
month. PPL is operator of Block 22 with a total share of 45 per cent. So
far 4 wells have already been drilled in this block out of which 3 wells
namely Hasan X-1, Sadiq X-1 and Hamza X-1 were found potential and are
in production process while the 4th well was found dry.