ISLAMABAD - In a bid to achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector, the Petroleum Division has devised a strategy to reinvigorate oil and gas exploration activities under which around 41 new blocks are being worked for awarding licences to interested E&P companies.

 “Currently, these blocks are in different phases of the award and clearance process. Open  bidding has already been held for 10 blocks in November last, while 10 more will be awarded by  March this year,” official sources told APP.

The sources said Division had got security clearance for 38 exploration blocks.  Out of which, 10 were in evaluation process for provisional award after the bidding opened  on November 26, 2018. “The bidding process over remaining blocks will be initiated shortly,” they said, adding that clearance of three blocks was still awaited.

Giving details, they said 10 blocks named 3068-3 (Block-28 North) spanning on 637.05  square-kilometer in Loralai, Sibi and Kohlu, 2762-1 (Desert) on 2231.3 sq.kms in Kharan  and Chaghi, 2667-9 (Khuzdar South) on 2493.36 sq.kms in Dadu and Khuzdar, 3269-1 (Wali West) on 1609.63 sq.kms in South and North Waziristan, 3073-3 (Punjab) on 2410.81 sq.kms in Pakpattan, Bahawalnagar, Sahiwal and Okara, 2972-4 (Cholistan) on 2478.46 sq.kms in Bahwalpur and Bahwalnagar, 3072-4 (Shakar Ganj) on 2479.37 sq.kms in Pakpattan, Bahwalnagar, Vehari and Sahiwal, 2768-13 (Sorah) on 1151.7 sq.kms in Sukkur and Khairpur, 2567-12 (Tuang) on 150.67 sq.kms in Jamshoro, 3069-10 (Musakhel) on 2198.8 sq.kms in Musakhel and Zhob, were under process for the provisional award.

While, 28 blocks, including 2770-3 (Islamgarh) on 2229.51sq.kms in Bahawalpur and Rahim  Yar Khan, 3069-9 (Suleiman) on 2175.26 sq.kms in Musakhel, Zhob and Loralai, 3068-6 (Qilla Saifullah) on 2421.96 sq.kms in Loralai, Zhob and Qilla Saifullah, 3168-1 (Multani) on  1120.39 sq.kms in Zhob, 3167-1 (Murgha Faqir Zai) on 5667.92 sq.kms in Zhob and Qilla Saifullah, 3066-1 (Huramzai) on  2262.27 sq.kms in Qilla Abdullah and Pishin, 2763-1 (Ladgasht) on  2452.88 sq.kms in Washuk, 3067-1 (Lugai) on 2344.01 sq. kms in Pishin and  Qilla Saifullah, 3067-2 (Changai) on 545.18 sq.kms in Pishin, 2869-14 (Kalchas South)  on 2425.11 sq.kms in Dera Bugti and Rajanpur, 3068-8 (South Pishin) on 2498.24 sq.kms in Zhob and Qilla Saifullah, 3167-3 (Tanishpa) on 2447.79 sq.kms in Zhob and Qilla Saifullah, 3168-2 (Shaigalu)  on 2483.49 sq.kms in Zhob and Qilla Saifullah, 3372-25 (Abbottabad) on 2298.67 sq.kms in Mansehra and Abbottabad, 3273-5 (Jhelum) on 2474.59 sq.kms in Jhelum, Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin, 3372-25 (North Dhurnal) on 85.14 sq.kms in Attock, 3372-25 (Hazro) on 653.74 sq.kms in Haripur, Swabi and Attock, 3072-7 (Okara)  on 2492.48 sq.kms in Sahiwal, Okara and Toba Tek Singh, 3171-2 (Nurpur) on  1941.62 sq.kms in Khushab, Mianwali and Bhakar, 3272-16 (Lillah) on 2361.12 sq.kms  in Chakwal and Jhelum, 2972-5 (Vehari) on 2487.28 sq.kms in Bahawalpur, Vehari and Lodhran, 2972-2 (Sutlej) on 2312.56 sq.kms in Bahawalngar, Bahawalpur, Vehari and Khanewal, 2771-2 (Khangarh) on 2498.48 sq.kms in Bahawalpur, 2871-2 (Yazman) on 2488.61 sq.kms in Bahwalpur, 2872-1 (Noor South) on 2458.95 sq.kms in Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar, 2871-3 (Rukanpur) on 2472.25 sq.kms in Bahawalpur, 3271-7 (Makhand) on 1562.92 sq.kms in Attock, Mianwali and Chakwal, 2667-12 (Baran Block) on 2475.25 sq.kms in Dadu, Jamshoro, Khuzdar and Lasbela, had been cleared by the quarters concerned.

Whereas, three blocks named 3069-8 (Kingri) on 2189.28 sq.kms in DG Khan  and Musakhel, 3067-7 (Sharan) on 2497.89 sq.kms in Qilla Saifullah and Zhob,  3371-18 (Hassan Abdal Block) on 1811 sq.kms in Attock, Haripur, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, have not been cleared yet.

Quoting a recent study about fast depletion of existing hydrocarbon reservoirs in the country, the sources feared that the deposits would further deplete by 60 percent by the year 2027.

They underlined the need for accelerating exploration activities in potential areas on war-footing, saying “The country’s energy demand is increasing and local production is decreasing.

So, our reliance on imported petroleum products is escalating with each passing day,” the sources said.