ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division (PD) has planned to auction 20 new Exploration & Production (E&P) blocks during next month aimed at stepping up oil and gas drilling activities in different hydrocarbon potential areas of the country.
“As many as 40 new blocks have been identified, out of which 20 will be put up for auction in September through international tenders,” a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments said.
He said the country’s existing gas production stood at around 3.7 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) against the demand of 6 BCFD, adding the gas reserves were depleting at the ratio of 9.5 percent per year.
Unfortunately, the official said the previous government during its five year tenure had not awarded even a single E&P licence that resulted in drastic decline in gas production as it took almost three to five years for initiating work on new fields and striking a find.
Despite this, he said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government encouraged E&P activities and made 26 discoveries from existing fields, adding 240 Million Cubic Feet gas and 7,000 barrel oil in the production gathering system.
In September 2018, he said, following the PTI government’s coming into power, a bidding round of 10 onshore exploration blocks was conducted, which was held after a gap of almost five years, wherein eight blocks were awarded.
The country’s total sedimentary area was around 827,268 square kilometers, out of which 320, 741 KM or 39 percent of the area was under exploration, he said.