Govt formulating shale gas policy to attract foreign investors

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division is in the process of formulating a vibrant policy to exploit massive shale gas and oil reserves by attracting multinational companies in the exploration sector of the country.

According to a latest official document available with APP, the Shale Gas Policy will attract many multinational companies to come to Pakistan for undertaking exploration to discover Shale gas and oil in the country.

In 2015, a study completed in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had confirmed the presence of 10,159 trillion cubic feet (TCF) shale gas and 2,323 billion of stock tank barrels (BSTB) shale oil in place resources.

The study covered lower and middle Indus Basin, which geographically spreads over Sindh, southern parts of Punjab and eastern parts of Balochistan. The total area under the study was 271,700km, which is 33 per cent of the total sedimentary area of the country.

During the study, a detailed analysis of 124 wells was carried out, including laboratory analysis on Shale Cores and cuttings in the United States (US). Objectives of the study were to validate shale gas resource estimate, initial findings, assess the availability of required technology and infrastructure for operations and formulate guidelines for the policy.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Shale Gas Assessment Report 2015 (USA), Pakistan has around 105 TCF of recoverable shale gas and 9.1 Billion Barrels of recoverable shale oil resources.

Following the discovery, a dedicated Shale gas and oil centre had been established at the Petroleum House to facilitate interested Exploration and Production companies to exploit the potential.

The successful exploitation of shale gas could also provide Pakistan with a sustainable supply of natural gas and oil; Pakistan’s estimated natural gas demand stood at about 6 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD), out of which less than 4 BCFD gas was being produced locally.

To determine the cost of extracting shale gas and oil, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and United Energy Petroleum Limited (UEPL) are undertaking drilling activities near Hyderabad.

The drilling, initiated on December 14, 2019, at the shale gas well, KUC-01 (Kunar Unconventional-1), is in progress to acquire geological and engineering data for further planning of the pilot project.

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