By Maemuna Sadaf,
Tropically, Pakistan is blessed with huge underground reserves of minerals, gas, and oils.
In 1964, the first oil fields were discovered in Toot, Pothohar Area of Punjab Province. The first well was drilled in 1967 and commercial production started. The oil production was 2400 barrel per day in 1986, which has grown steadily.
In 1998-1999, the first oilfield in lower Sindh was discovered by Union Texas Pakistan.
Modern oil exploration was started in 2005. In the same year, the Vancouver based
“International Sovereign Energy” signed a memorandum of understanding with Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (Pakistan’s national oil company). In 2006, Schlumberger Oil fields’ services started their first operation in Pakistan. Now, 15% of petroleum needs are fulfilled domestically. However, 85% of the petroleum needs are fulfilled through imports.
Pakistan is facing a huge trade deficit of US $ 18 billion due to larger spending on crude oil imports.
Writing more! Our country is blessed with an estimated 1.246 barrel recoverable oil
reserves. But a total 0.899 have been produced yet. For the betterment of the country’s economy, the natural reserves of minerals should be discovered and utilized properly. The discovery of natural resources has been continued.
Discussing more! Pakistan owns over 22km (12 nautical miles) of the territorial sea, a
370 km (200 nautical miles) Exclusive Economic Zone. Our coastal line is of about 990 Km (615 miles). If the coastal line and territorial sea area are combined, then the total EEZ extends over 240,000 sq km. The total territorial sea area is almost 40% of the sedimentary land area. This sea territory is filled with natural resources including gas and natural oil. The recent drilling in the deep sea by Exxon Mobil, there are chances of new discovery of oil and gas reserves is hoped. The expected oil resources are located close to Iran border in deep waters. This oil reserve is 230 Km far from Karachi offshore. There is a strong possibility that huge oil reserves will be discovered in the waters of Pakistan. These oil reserves are hoped to be bigger than
Kuwaiti oil reserves. According to an estimate, 81.89% of the world oil reserves are owned by Gulf countries.
Different countries of the world including the United States of America (USA), Gulf
countries are taking interest in the drilling of oil from Pakistan’s water. US interest will remain on the board in the region and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia being the brotherly Islamic State has already committed to invest the US $ 20 million. It includes oil refinery in Gwadar.
The Italian Oil Giant ENI, The Oil and Gas Company (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and US multinational oil and gas company Exxon Mobil will jointly begin drilling of the first exploratory well Kekra-I. A sum of 70 million dollars has been earmarked for the project. Each company will have a 25% stake in this joint venture. The drilling process is already ongoing. In the deep sea, 3000 meters drilling is already completed and will be continued till 4000 meters
deep. The exploration if successful would be a game changer for the whole region. Pakistan will be in top 10 oil producing countries. Pakistan is exporting oil of 14 million US dollar per year. After the production of oil from the sea, the said amount will be saved. The economic position of the country will be strengthened. The said exploration will bring foreign investment in the country. Hence, it will bring in the new job opportunities. Pakistan should purchase technology rather than services
for exploration. Concluding more! These oil reserves are huge enough to accommodate the country’s oil needs. It can be hoped that, if oil exploration and production starts, Pakistan will be in exporters of Oil. The whole region will get benefit from it. Neighboring countries and Gulf nations won’t ignore the opportunities to enhance energy cooperation with Pakistan. This cooperation would help to foster an energy network in the region.