ISLAMABAD (APP): Petroleum and Natural Affairs Division Wednesday said the government was making all-out efforts to accelerate oil and gas exploration activities, extending maximum facilities to exploration and production (E&P) companies operating in the country. “In future there will be clearance of vessels, drill ships and helicopters without any levy, duty or charges whatsoever including customs duty,” a press release said. This dispensation is extended to all companies and joint venture partners who are party to any Production Sharing Agreement with the government for offshore petroleum exploration and production activities, it added. Exploration company ENI along with Exxon Mobil will start drilling of an ultra-deep well in Kekra-I this month in deep sea waters under a specific weather window, it said. The equipment of both the companies, consisting of three platform supply vessels, two helicopters and one drilling ship, would be exempted from the customs duty.

This facility will also help attract more multinational companies to come to Pakistan, it added.