Islamabad: The Petroleum Division has planned to auction 20 blocks by end of 2019 for exploration of oil and gas to make the country self-sufficient in the energy sector, a news source reported. The division would conduct an open bidding process for this purpose.
An official expert in the petroleum sector revealed that the government was preparing a summary for the creating of new oil and gas exploration blocks in potential areas of Balochistan, and the newly merged tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). He added that the officials concerned would present this summary to the Council of Common Interests for approval.
The official explained that there were currently four zones for exploration in the country, which are as follows:
- West Balochistan-Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar
- East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins
- Lower Indus Basins
- Indus and Makran Basins
He clarified that the security situation had improved in some of these areas, so they are no longer considered as high-risk. Therefore, the government added these to potential hydrocarbon areas, he added.
The official revealed that currently, 39% of an estimated 827,268-square kilometres of the country’s sedimentary areas was under exploration. He added that Pakistan had reasonable potential in various sedimentary pockets, but the government needed to develop a robust strategy for exploration.
On the other hand, the Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC) has completed an in-house geological mapping of the Kohlu Block on the basis of satellite imagery. This area spans across 2,459.1 square kilometres in districts of Kohlu, Dera Bugti, and Barkhan.
The official added that the authorities concerned would perform the geological field work and 2D seismic data acquisition in this block. He speculated that the process would be completed in eight to 10 months.
The official said that during the previous year, the government awarded five new exploration blocks with the help of a transparent bidding process.