KARACHI - Heightened security concerns forced the Exploration and Production (E&P) companies to reconsider their exploration programmes, resulting in the decline of oil and gas production in the country. According to the weekly data released by Pakistan Petroleum Information Service (PPIS) for the month of March, countrys oil and gas production declined by 2 percent YoY and 1 percent YoY, respectively. While on the drilling front, 18 exploratory wells were spudded, while 32 appraisal and developmental wells were drilled during this month. The increasing security concerns has forced the sector to step up their efforts on existing fields to arrest the natural decline of major fields. Amongst the individual companies, OGDCs oil and gas production declined by 7 percent YoY and 2 percent YoY, whereas PPLs gas production was down by 2 percent YoY. On the flipside, POL fared well in comparison to its bourse peers, witnessing an increase of 2 percent YoY and 41 percent YoY in its oil and gas production, respectively. POL production primarily benefited from enhanced production from Manzalai filed and improved performance from the Pindori field. The fields oil production increased by 2 percent YoY and 23 percent YoY respectively, whereas Manzalai gas production increased by a colossal 288 percent YoY. PPLs oil production also benefited from the Manzalai phenomenon, increasing by 9 percent YoY to 4.6K bpd. However, based on such statistics Pakistans oil and gas production is expected to show a noticeable improvement, as on one end, enhanced production from Manzalai field has started to cushion the decline, while on the other, production boost is expected from Mela (2,500bpd), Naspha (4,000bpd) and Memikhel (20mmcfd) fields from May-10. In addition, developmental activity in Tal block, Naspha block, Qadirpur field, Uch field, Kadanwari field are also expected to bode well for the countrys future oil and gas production. Resolution of cases regarding Sinjhoro KP and TYK development projects will also boost Pakistans oil and gas production, as the SHC has heard the final argument and petitioners are now waiting for the final decision. Nauman Khan, at Investacp Research, said 'as per estimates developmental activity is expected to yield 1,000bpd and 450mmcfd of oil and gas in next two years.