Exploration at Kekra-1 well off Pakistan ends -OGDC spokesman
(Adds background, detail)
By Syed Raza Hassan
KARACHI, Pakistan, May 19 (Reuters) - The consortium
exploring the Kekra-1 well off the coast of Pakistan is ending
drilling operations after no reserves of oil and gas were found,
a spokesman for Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd, one of
the Pakistani partners, said.
"The oil exploration well will be plugged and abandoned,"
said Ahmed Lak, spokesman for state-owned OGDC, part of the
group behind the exploration led by Italy's Eni SpA
which included Exxon Mobile Corp and Pakistan Petroleum
No comment was immediately available from Eni, which has
operated the exploration licence under a deal signed in 2012.
Lak said the project had gathered valuable data which can be
used in future exploration projects but when drilling reached
the identified carbonated reservoir at the site, they found it
consisted only of water.
"When you don't find success in exploration, you're getting
data which cannot be found otherwise," he said.
Eni, which has been present in Pakistan since 2000, held a
25 percent stake in the venture and was the operator of the
exploration licence for the site in a 7,500 square kilometre
block in deep water in the Indus Basin.
News that the project has been abandoned comes as a blow to
the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan which has pinned
high hopes on offshore oil and gas discoveries to help with both
the country's chronic energy deficiencies and its ballooning
Pakistan is believed to have rich mineral resources, with
conventional gas reserves estimated at 20 trillion cubic feet
(tcf), or 560 billion cubic meters, and shale gas reserves,
which are so far untouched, at more than 100 tcf.
The government is planning to offer dozens of new gas field
concessions, hoping that improved security in recent years will
reassure foreign investors who have been deterred in the past by
the threat of militant violence.
Pakistan has been under mounting pressure to shore up its
creaking energy infrastructure, both to provide more reliable
supplies of oil and gas to its growing population of more than
200 million and to cut reliance on expensive foreign imports.
The country recently signed an accord for a $6 billion loan
from the International Monetary Fund that helped send its rupee
currency to an all time low against the dollar of 150 rupees
last week and highlighted the need to cut import bills.
(Additional reporting by by Francesca Landini in MILAN; Writing
by James Mackenzie
Editing by Alison Williams/ Louise Heavens and Emelia
First Published: 2019-05-19 12:04:03
Updated 2019-05-19 14:50:55
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