ISLAMABAD - The government is in process of finalizing a policy to exploit massive Shale gas and oil reserves identified after a study completed in collaboration with the USAID, covering lower and middle Indus Basin. “Shale gas policy is being prepared for onward submission to the quarters concerned to get final approval,” official sources told APP. In 2015, they said, a study completed in cooperation with the USAID 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. After identification of the deposits, a task had been given to Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited to undertake pilot project(s) in potential areas to assess the cost of extracting Shale gas and oil, which could not be launched to date. According to the study, there are 188TCF gas and 58 BSTB oil technically recoverable resources, while the risked technically recoverable resources stand at 95TCF gas and 14 BSTB oil.

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 percent 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.

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.