ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources on Friday signed Exploration Licenses (ELs) and Petroleum Concession Agreements (PCAs) in eight blocks with the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) for exploring oil and gas resources in the country. The total area of aforesaid blocks is 16,117.09 sq km.

The Ministry has already signed 12 exploration licenses (ELs)/Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCAs) to explore hydrocarbon resources.

On the occasion, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said these license were awarded for four blocks including Block No. 2562-1 (Pasni West), 3070-16 (Pezu) , 2970-6 (Alipur), and 2870-7 (Khanpur) with OGDCL, three for block No. 2566-4 (Hab), 2467-13 (Malir) and 2467-16 (Shah Bandar) with PPL and one for block No. 3371-16 (Peshawar East) with MPCL.

He said government is giving high priority to exploration and production sector to exploit and develop indigenous hydrocarbon resources to abridge the oil and gas demand supply gap. Due to the untiring efforts of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and especially by the DGPC and his team and keen interest generated by the investment friendly and attractive policies, since taking over by the current government, he said, 73 numbers of wells have been spudded and 17 discoveries have been made so far.

He said these discoveries will add 130 MMCFD of gas and 3553 bbl oil per day. So far 45 MMCFD of gas and 1924 bbl oil per day has already been added to the network through these discoveries. Moreover, 184 MMCFD and 5,962 bbl per day has also been added to the gas & oil network from existing fields. During last week, the oil production in the country has achieved 84,374 bbl per day of oil, which is the highest oil production level achieved so far.

The minister also appreciated the hard work of DGPC and his team for preparing and finalizing further 08 exploration licenses and 08 petroleum concessions agreements within ten days. He further added that these efforts will bear fruit for the country in the form of additional hydrocarbon reserves during next few years. The minister is of the firm opinion that execution of the ELs/PCAs will not only attract new investment in the petroleum sector but also abridge the gap between energy demand and supply. The ceremony was also attended by secretary petroleum and respective heads of three entities as well.