A new report suggests that Pakistan may soon be offering up to 32 new blocks of oil and gas exploration that energy firms operating in the country will be able to take advantage of. Pakistan Today unveiled the news, quoting an official source as saying: “Under the petroleum policy 2012, 46 new blocks have already been awarded while the clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 more exploration blocks to E&P (exploration and production) companies through bidding process.”
The news comes as much of the world’s exploration activity has dipped, largely due to sharp price falls. However, as previously reported, it is essential to continue discovering new resource sites to avoid future shortfalls.
According to Pakistan Today, the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has already allowed 70 Supplemental Agreement conversions to be awarded. These will be converted to Petroleum Concessions Agreements, allowing for exploration activities in the nation to be sped up. Sources also said that stakeholders have been involved in the finalisation consultations, including those in the Ministries of Law and Justice and Finance, as well as in the oil and gas industry itself.
The energy sector plays an important role in Pakistan, with the Government attaching a high priority to an industry that supplies more than 80 per cent of the nation’s power. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has said that many incentives have already been offered by Government officials as a way to boost local exploration activities.
Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that licence revocations could occur for gas and oil companies that do not follow through with exploration activities on schedule. In fact, the Government has already taken 16 permits from E&P companies that they deemed to be non-performers. Companies identified as falling behind on exploration schedules are given ample notification so that they can present their case for any planned licence revocation to be delayed.
It was only last week that Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed to Pakistan’s National Assembly that around $15.3 billion in investment has been received by the country’s oil and gas sector. He also said that 82 gas and oil discoveries have been made in the past three years. “Production from 45 out of the 82 discoveries has already begun, whereas necessary work on 37 discoveries is being carried out by the Exploration and Production companies in order to start production,” he said.
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