“We are expecting a multi-billion cubic feet of gas flows from the (offshore) block.”
PKONWEB Report (Karach) — A group including Eni SpA and Exxon Mobil Corp. will start drilling the Kekra-1 well this month in deepwater south of Pakistan offshore Karachi port city.
The country’s onshore natural gas production–mainly in Sindh province, has been declining after years of under-investment, leading to the start of liquefied natural gas imports in recent years. Growing demand for the fuel has made these drillers more confident that they’ll be able to sell any gas from a sizable development, said Andrew Harwood, the Asia-Pacific upstream research director of energy consultancy Wood Mackanzie Ltd., in an interview to Bloomberg in Singapore.
In December, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi had announced on his Twitter handle that “Supply ships transporting equipment to “Mother of All Rigs” docked 230km off the Karachi coast for exploration of oil & gas arrived at KPT”.
A month earlier (in November), Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest oil and gas company, had announced it will reinvest in Pakistani market (experts say the investment could be as high as $250 million) after a gap of nearly three decades.
A company’s delegation, led by LNG Market Development Chairperson Emma Cochrane, had also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House and informed him of the projects.
The offshore drilling project–Italian firm Eni is the operator of the project–will be undertaken 280 kilometers from the coast of Sindh in the offshore Indus-G block called Keira-1 to explore gas reserves. If all goes well, the find and its extraction would be a game-changer for energy-starved Pakistan.
According to OGDCL Managing Director Zahid Mir, “The block has very high prospects, and exploratory well Kekra-I has strategic importance for the region as we are expecting a multi-billion cubic feet of gas flows from the block.”
Based on surveys and prospect reports, 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 told The News in June last year.
The oil find is of high quality, and the gas of high grade, said one energy professional with knowledge of the project.
Exxon Mobil also plans to build Pakistan’s third import liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in partnership with Pakistani consortium Energas.
After a few fallow years, oil and gas drillers are poised to unearth new reserves in the Asia-Pacific and Pakistan, according to the energy consultant.
“Explorers are getting a little bit more ambitious in this part of the world.” “These are huge companies with global portfolios; they’re not spending the money to drill unless they have a reason to be excited,” said Harwood.
WoodMac sees huge potential for big oil and gas finds in the Asia-Pacific region.
Some of the world’s biggest explorers are therefore drilling wildcat wells in places like Pakistan, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea this year, hoping to discover the massive deepwater finds that have largely been missing from the region since firms slashed spending following the 2014 oil price crash.
If successful (first good news is expected from the end of March), Pakistan’s offshore gas reserve extraction and delivery could cost anywhere between $12 and $18 per unit in oil barrel energy equivalent conversion.