A vessel of Italian oil-giant ENI will start drilling tomorrow (Friday) to search for reserves of oil and gas in Pakistan’s territorial waters.
The oil giant has anchored its mother vessel 230 kilometres into Pakistan’s aquatic territory to find the reserves. Three more ships will also be anchored to facilitate the drilling.
According to a survey, large reserves of oil and gas are expected to be found in the country. The Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), ENI and ExxonMobil have planned to begin drilling of the first exploratory well Kekra-1 in offshore Indus G-Block, OGDCL Managing Director Zahid Mir said.
He said an investment of $70 million had been earmarked for the project, which would be contributed equally by the joint venture partners.
“The block has very high prospects, and the Kekra-I exploratory well has strategic importance for the region as we are expecting multi-billion cubic feet of gas flows from the block,” Mir said.
Based on surveys and prospect reports, the OGDCL chief believes the discovery could be even larger than that of Sui. “If a success, this would be a game changer for the country as well as the entire region,” he added.
According to analysts, the joint venture in Indus G block is mainly targeting carbonate play as a possible hydrocarbon bearing reservoir. The management is optimistic about ExxonMobil’s entry in Pakistan as it brings with it vast experience of deep and ultra-deep water drilling.
Analysts believe, even if commercially viable discovery is made, commencement of production may take several years depending upon the availability/setting up of necessary infrastructure.
Pakistan’s oil and gas sector witnessed a major development recently when the world’s largest energy company ExxonMobil acquired 25% stake in Pakistan’s offshore Indus G block. This development could be seen as a major breakthrough as it might lead other international energy firms to bring foreign investment in Pakistan’s energy sector. Pakistan imports oil worth $14 billion every year.
An earlier version of this story stated that the drilling was being done exclusively by ExxonMobil. The error is regretted and the story has been updated to reflect the change.