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April 17, 2019

Pakistan Petroleum spuds first international exploration well in Iraq


April 17, 2019

KARACHI: State-owned Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) spud the first exploration well in Iraq to have pioneered the presence of local oil and gas exploration sector on the international energy map, the company said on Tuesday.

“Pakistan Petroleum Limited, which is the operator of Block 8 in Iraq, spud the first exploration well, Madain-1,” PPL said in a filing with the stock exchange. The block is located in Mesopotamian basin and it is surrounded by areas that have several large oil and gas fields. A Chinese drilling contractor Zepec is drilling the well on an integrated project management basis.

Currently, PPL together with its subsidiaries has a portfolio of 43 exploration blocks of which the company operates 26, including one block in Iraq, while 17 blocks, comprising three offshore leases in Pakistan and one onshore concession in Yemen, are operated by joint venture partners. PPL has made 12 discoveries in operated blocks, four in Gambat South Block (Hadi X-1A, Zafir X-1, Badeel X-1 & Hadaf X-1), two in Kotri Block (Kotri X-1 & Yasar X-1) one each in Hala (Bashar X-1 ST), Dhok Sultan (Dhok Sultan X-1), Hub (Hub X-1), Shah Bandar (Benari X-1 ST-2), Karsal (Talagang X-1) blocks as well as one at Adhi (Adhi South X-1) since January 2016.

PPL said the latest move marks a significant milestone in the company’s history as its first international exploration well. “Notably, the company is also the first Pakistani oil and gas exploration and production company to create a footprint as an operator on the international oil and gas map.”

The Madain-1 prospect was matured with the help of a 3D seismic survey carried out by the company over a 300 square kilometers area of the block that spans around 6,000 square kilometers. There are multiple reservoir targets in Madain-1 that will be drilled through to a depth of approximately 5,000 meters.

Iraq’s gas output is expected to reach 1.3 million cubic feet per day (mcf/d) by the end of 2020, an increase of 400 mcf/d from current levels, according to Reuters.

The country, OPEC’s second-largest producer, is targeting production capacity of five million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, with average exports expected to reach around 3.8 million bpd.

Iraq currently pumps around 4.6 million bpd, second only to Saudi Arabia in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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