Pakistan Signs Three Offshore Oil Exploration Accords

KARACHI Sep 29, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

The Pakistan government signed three joint exploration and production-sharing accords Friday with a state-run firm and a domestic oil exploration firm for three offshore blocks, according to a statement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

The offshore blocks, located in ultra-deep waters of the Arabian Sea, cover an area of 4,170.44 square kilometers, the statement said.

The accord was signed between the Pakistan government, state-run Government Holdings Ltd. and privately owned domestic firm Petroleum Exploration Ltd.

The statement didn't provide any information on the blocks' estimated reserves but said during the first two years an investment of $3.19 million is envisaged.

Pakistan meets more than 80% of its energy requirements through imports.

According to official estimates, Pakistan has 27 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves, of which only 3% have been explored. The country also has an estimated 280 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, of which only 42% has been explored so far.

The Pakistan government has been encouraging domestic and foreign firms to increase exploration activities in the country.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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