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APP
July 19, 2019

Govt plans road shows to award exploration blocks

Business

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APP
July 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division of the Energy Ministry is considering a proposal to hold road shows in different countries for award of oil and gas exploration blocks in potential areas of the country, a senior official said on Thursday.

Six to seven events including Abdu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Energy moots in Calgary and Moscow were scheduled to be held in the coming months, the official told APP while responding to a question about award of new exploration blocks.

Such international events could prove fruitful for Pakistan to hold the road shows, as delegations from across the world gather there and looked into possibilities of future investments. It will be better instead of visiting country to country, he added. However, he said, prior to arranging the shows there was need to revise the existing petroleum policy and establish a frontier zone - high risk/high return zone, while reviewing different rules.

The official said a model petroleum concession agreement had been finalised, which needed to be presented effectively before the investors. There was around a 34-step process to follow in the office of director general (petroleum concession) which would be simplified for a smooth procedure.

He said the government had devised a prudent strategy to accelerate oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country, under which new exploration blocks were being awarded through open bidding process. He said the Petroleum Division had recently held bidding for 10 exploration blocks, out of which eight had been awarded to qualified bidders.

While, bidding for 15 to 20 more blocks had been planned by end of this year with an aim to step up oil and gas exploration activities and achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector. Besides, he said, the government was preparing a summary for creating new oil and gas exploration zone in potential areas of former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.

Accordingly, a summary would be presented before the Council of Common Interests for approval, he added. Explaining the existing exploration licensing zones, the official said the country had been divided into four zones, consisting of West Balochistan- Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar, East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins, Lower Indus Basins and Indus and Makran Basins.

Currently the country’s total sedimentary area is around 827,268 square kilometres, out of which 320,741km or 39 percent of the area is under exploration. Replying to another question, the official underlined the need for establishing more Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) terminals as these would help make the north-south gas pipeline feasible and meet the energy needs efficiently.

He said around 1,200 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) RLNG was being added in the national distribution system, while the government was making efforts to bring 200 to 400MMCFD more RLNG in the system by the end of this year.

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