ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has granted 46 exploration licences and 33 leases to achieve self sufficiency in oil and gas sector during the last four years.

"Grant of exploration licences and leases witnessed an increase by 39.4 percent and 200 percent respectively as compared to corresponding years of the previous government," official sources in the Ministry told APP. Under the petroleum policy 2012, they informed that 46 new blocks have already been awarded, while the clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 more exploration blocks to E&P Companies in oil and gas potential areas through a transparent bidding process.

Answering a question, the sources said the companies drilled 179 exploratory and 194 appraisal wells that resulted in 101 new oil and gas discoveries. While, during the same period of previous government, 100 exploratory and 172 appraisal/development wells were drilled, which made just 39 oil and gas discoveries. In a short span of four years, they said the government so far added over 944 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas and 32,343 bpd oil in the transmission network across the country through indigenous resources. Whereas, the country's total crude oil production has reached 90,000 barrels oil per day (bpd).

During tenure of the current government, around 466 mmcfd additional gas from new discoveries and 478 mmcfd gas from existing fields, while 11,149 bpd oil from new finds and 21,194 bpd from existing wells have so far been added in the system, they added. They said 68 finds, out of total 101 discoveries, had added proven reserves of about 5.4 tcf gas, while the calculation of 33 wells were yet to be determined. As many as 87 finds have been made in Sindh, seven each in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

During the same period, the country is estimated to have consumed about 5.2 tcf gas which means that more than 180 percent replacement had been made for the resource consumed. Besides, over $10 billion foreign investment has poured in the country’s petroleum sector, despite low oil price scenario in international market.