ISLAMABAD           -      The Petroleum Division is in process of formulating a vibrant policy to exploit massive shale gas and oil reserves by attracting multinational companies in exploration sector of the country.

“The Shale Gas Policy is in the process of formulation, which will also attract many multinational companies to come to Pakistan for undertaking exploration to discover Shale gas and oil in the country,” according to a latest official document available with APP. In 2015, a study completed in cooperation with the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) had confirmed presence of 10,159 trillion cubic feet (TCF) Shale gas and 2,323 billion of stock tank barrels (BSTB) Shale oil in place resources. The study covered lower and middle Indus Basin, which geographically spreads over Sindh, southern parts of Punjab and eastern parts of Balochistan. Total area under the study was 271,700km, which is 33 per cent of the total sedimentary area of the country. During the study, a detailed analysis of 124 wells was carried out, including laboratory analysis on Shale cores and cuttings in the United States. Objectives of the study were to validate Shale gas resource estimate, initial findings, assess availability of required technology and infrastructure for Shale gas operations and formulate guidelines for the Shale gas policy. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Shale Gas Assessment Report 2015 (USA); Pakistan has around 105 Trillion Cubic Feet of recoverable shale gas and 9.1 Billion Barrels of recoverable shale oil resources.

Following the discovery, a dedicated Shale gas and oil centre had been established at the Petroleum House to facilitate interested Exploration and Production companies to exploit the potential. The successful exploitation of shale gas could provide Pakistan with a sustainable supply of natural gas and oil (against EIA estimated recoverable gas resources), Pakistan’s estimated natural gas demand stood at about 6 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD), out of which less than 4 BCFD gas was being produced locally. To determine the cost of extracting shale gas and oil, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and United Energy Petroleum Limited (UEPL) are undertaking drilling activities near Hyderabad city of the Sindh province. The drilling, started on December 14, 2019 at the Shale gas well, KUC-01 (Kunar Unconventional-1), is in progress to acquire geological and engineering data for further planning of the pilot project.