ISLAMABAD: The ministry of petroleum and natural resources allocated 12 petroleum concession blocks to two leading state owned by Exploration and Production (E&P) companies as per Petroleum Policy 2012. The government had provisionally awarded fifty petroleum exploration blocks to eight local and international companies on January 23. On the occasion, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that finalizing 12 exploration licenses and 12 petroleum concessions agreements within one week after provisional awards on January 23 was a major achievement. These efforts would bear fruit for the country in the form of additional hydrocarbon reserves during the next few years, he added. The minister said that 38 remaining petroleum concession blocks would be awarded to other companies soon and the government was expecting $ 176 million investment through these blocks. Replying to a query regarding Iran-Pakistan (IP) Pipeline project, Abbasi said that both Iran and Pakistan were committed to completing this project, but due to US restrictions against Iran, the Pakistani government had requested the Iranian government to make some changes in the contract. The government of Pakistan has executed Petroleum Concession Agreements (PCAs) and Exploration Licenses (ELs) over Block No. 2970-7 (Ladhana), Block No. 3071-4 (Fatehpur), Block No. 2768-11 (Ranipur), Block No. 2469-9 (Armala), Block No. 3371-17 (Baratai), Block No. 2564-4 (Rasmalan), Block No. 2564-3 and Parkini Block-B with Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Block No.2864-2 (Nausherwani), 2566-6 (Bela West), 3272-18 (Karsal), 3372-23 (Hisal) and 2870-5 (Sadiqabad) with Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL). Apart from minimum work commitment, companies are obligated to spend a minimum of US $ 30,000 per year in each block on social welfare schemes. The execution ceremony was graced by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources, Jam Kamal Khan, State Minister for Petroleum & NR and Zahid Muzaffar, Advisor to Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources with their presence. The respective ELs and PCAs were signed by Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Abid Saeed, Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources, Saeedullah Shah, Director General Petroleum Concessions, Riaz Khan, Managing Director, OGDCL, Asim Murtaza, Managing Director, PPL and Directors from concerned provinces.