Ministry of Petroleum to Auction 20 New E&P Blocks in September

The Petroleum Division (PD) is planning to auction twenty new Exploration & Production (E&P) blocks in September, aiming to step up oil and gas drilling activities in various 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 told the state’s media agency.

He said the country’s existing gas production stands at around 3.7 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) compared to a demand of 6 BCFD, adding the gas reserves are depleting at the ratio of 9.5 percent per year.

The official further revealed that the previous government during its five-year tenure had not awarded a single E&P license that resulted in a drastic decline in gas production as it took almost three to five years for initiating work on new fields and discovering hydrocarbons.

Despite this, he said the current 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 is around 827,268 square kilometers, out of which 320,741 km or 39 percent is under exploration, he said.

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