Efforts underway to exploit proven deposits of shale gas, oil

ISLAMABAD – The government is making concerted efforts to exploit massive shale gas and oil reserves identified under a study completed in collaboration with the USAID, covering lower and middle Indus Basin. After identification of the deposits, a task has been given to Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited to evolve a joint strategy that aims at undertaking pilot project(s) in potential areas to assess the cost of extracting shale gas and oil.

“The pilot projects are likely to be executed in selected areas of Balochistan, Sindh and Khyer Pakhtunkhwa, “official sources told APP. They said the Petroleum and Natural Resources Division had invited local and international exploration and production companies to tap the massive shale gas and oil reserves.

“A dedicated shale gas and oil centre has been established at the Petroleum House, which is now open for all interested E&P companies,” the sources said and termed the deposits a ‘game-changer’ and future source for abundant petroleum products in the country.

In 2015, 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. 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. The study further confirmed that the basic technology required for shale gas exploration like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing was available in the country and being used for conventional and tight gas reservoirs.

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