ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division is planning to hold open bidding for 20 new oil and gas exploration blocks by the year end, aimed at making the country self-sufficient in the energy sector.
The government, in the last year, awarded five new exploration blocks through a transparent bidding process, a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments said on Tuesday.
He said the government was preparing a summary for creation of new oil and gas exploration block in potential areas of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan, which would be presented before the Council of Common Interests for approval.
Explaining the existing exploration licensing zones, he said the country had been divided into four zones: West Balochistan-Pishin-Potowar Basins, Kirthar, East Balochistan-Punjab platform-Suleman Basins, Lower Indus Basins and Indus and Makran Basins.
He said that earlier, some zones were considered high-risk areas, but now after the improved security situation these parts of the country are being added to the potential hydrocarbon areas.
Answering a question, the official said that currently, the country’s total sedimentary area was around 827,268 sq km out of which around 39 per cent was under exploration.
He said it was a fact that multinational companies were least interested in oil and gas exploration sector due to non-discovery of any major hydrocarbon reserves since long. However, the country has sufficient potential in different sedimentary pockets, but it needed a robust strategy.
He said the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production companies were planning to start work on some exploration blocks, which faced delay, due to security issues in different areas of Balochistan, to find new hydrocarbon deposits and meet ever-growing energy needs of the country.
Meanwhile, the OGDCL on the basis of satellite imagery completed in-house geological mapping of the Kohlu Block, covering an area of 2,459.1 sq km in districts of Kohlu, Barkhan and Dera Bugti.
While, efforts are underway to perform geological field work and 2D seismic data acquisition in the block pending since 2004, which will complete in eight to ten months, the official added.