ISLAMABAD: For the first time in the country’s history, the federal government has allowed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to sell surface seepage crude oil to Attock Refinery Limited.

The federal government has issued NOC to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil & Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL) to supply 25000 litres per week of Qamar Dhok crude oil (surface seepage) to Attock Refinery Limited, an official source told The Nation here yesterday.

However, the official in KP government said that the capacity for the supply of seepage oil is much higher than allowed by the government. They have just allowed the supply from one area of Qamar Dhok and there are a lot of other areas in various oil producing districts of KP which can provide seepage crude oil, the official said.

The official said that KP can provide up to 40000 liters per day of seepage crude to the refinery. “Our capacity is about million litres a month,” the official said. 25000 litres per week is equal to 157 barrels but the province has the capability of selling 252 barrels of seepage crude a day, the official explained.

The federal ministry of petroleum and natural resources has asked the Director General Petroleum Concession to provide the price mechanism for the crude oil.

The official said that out of the revenue generated from the sale of seepage oil about 12.5 percent royalty will go to provincial government, while another 13 percent will be its cost. The remaining will go to the KPOGCL, the official said.

Regarding the Qamar Dhok, the official said that since 1990 crude oil is being extracted within the vicinity of Gumbat Area. In 4 sq-km grid area about 80 dug wells are drilled by the locals for digging out of crude oil using conventional methods such as tube wells drilling, the official said. The residents of the area, while using conventional means, are extracting about 300 liters of crude per day. Similarly in the vicinity of Qamar Dhok village the locals have installed more than 20 wells. 25000 liters of crude oil was sold by just one resident, the official claimed.

The official said that the crude oil extracted daily by residents is being sold in market at cost of Rs 40-50 per litre. The crude oil is being used for operating the electric generators and other vehicles.

Besides, other areas in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Karak,Bannu, Landi Kotal and Nowshera also have the oil and gas seepages.

In Mughal Kot, 91km away from main city D.I Khan, crude oil is extracted by the natives, the official said. Crude oil is being extracted since last 15 years within the vicinity of Mughal Kot village ‘Sukkarma Landa. In 3 sq-km grid area about eight oil seepages were spotted. The residents of the area are extracting 350 liters of crude oil per day. The residents then purchase it in Mughal Kot bazar.

Similarly, there is oil and gas seepage in Spintangay and Kam Chashmi of Domel Tehsil in district Bannu, Shubli Banda and oil seepage in District Karak, Inzari Kandao in Landi Kotal.

There is gas seepage in Landi Kotal Bazaar, located approximately 38 km north of Peshawar. In Dara Bain, located in District Tank, gas seepage is occurring from centuries, the official informed. This is an active gas seep and the gas is used by local shepherds for cooking and heating purposes.

The gas is actively coming out from the fissures and cracks developed in the rocks. Beside there are other gas seepages spotted in Kojha Kalaa of Bannu district, Barganath Nala 3 kilometer from Waziristan border, and Azakhel in District Nowshera. The residents don’t have latest technology to explore all the crude oil present within the subsurface. The traditional way of drilling in a very shallow depth is wasting the crude oil which may cause continuous loss, the official said.

However if the government deepens the wells using latest technology, the production from these spots may be made commercial. The commercial withdrawal of this crude oil is important and necessary because this huge reservoir will deplete due to geological phenomenon that usually happen within the subsurface, the official maintained.