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 estimated1.246 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 (12nautical 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 arecombined, 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 firstexploratory 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.