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Govt takes action against inactive companies in oil, gas sector

Federal government has tightened the noose around exploration and production (E&P) companies for failing to start exploration work as per their obligations, revoking 10 exploration licences.

“Government has initiated action against the non-performing exploration and production companies including those who have been holding licenses for the last so many years without any physical activity,” an official source said on Tuesday.

The source said the action would act as a wakeup call for non-performing E&P companies and would boost the exploration and production activities in the country.

“As a result of the action, ten exploration licences have been revoked after providing them adequate opportunities to remedy the defaults and after completing the necessary regulatory process,” the source added.

Similarly, the official said 15 notices had also been issued to defaulting companies which were under process as per applicable rules.

After taking all provinces on board in finalizing Model Petroleum Concession Agreement (MPCA) and Model Exploration Licence (MPCA), the sitting government, he added, has so far awarded 46 new petroleum exploration licences which is a record performance in the history of Pakistan.

He said that for the first time government has fulfilled its commitment and has so far processed 94 applications for conversion to the new petroleum policy 2012 through execution of Supplemental Agreements.

During the tenure of this government, a record 227 wells have been drilled which resulted in 65 new oil and gas discoveries, around 560 mmcfd of additional gas and 27,000 bopd of oil has been injected in the system so far, the official said.

By virtue of these discoveries, so far over one TCF of gas and 16 million barrels of new oil reserves have been added to the reserves. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, domestic oil production has touched the highest level of 100,698 bbl per day of oil on December 7, 2014.

In order to expedite processing of various cases of E&P companies and to bring more transparency in the system, the official added, rules have been amended, economic model, petroleum reserve model and comprehensive SOPs have also been developed.

The official of the ministry said that since the government was fully appreciating the country’s growing energy needs with gas demand swelling to over six billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) and depleting hydrocarbon resources, thus multi-pronged strategy was being pursued to ease energy crisis.

He said the government had to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as low-hanging fruit to meet energy needs besides working on long-term projects such as Pakistan-Iran gas pipelines, TAPI projects and so many measures on domestic front.

He said the major gas reservoirs of the country were depleting fast, necessitating the exploration of more resources to meet the country’s gas demand.

He said geo-political situation badly affected the ambitious transnational projects including Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline and the TAPI project.