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Two exploration blocks awarded to local firms in Punjab and Balochistan

Two exploration blocks awarded to local firms in Punjab and Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday awarded two exploration blocks to local oil and gas exploration and production companies in Punjab and Balochistan.

The Petroleum Concession Agreements (PCAs) and Exploration Licences (ELs) for two blocks were signed by representatives of the participating companies, director general of petroleum concessions and secretary petroleum. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Energy Minister Mohammad Hammad Azhar.

These blocks are located in Attock and Loralai districts. Block No 3068-9 Nareli, Loralai, Balochistan, was awarded to a joint venture led by Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) as operator and comprising partners Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) and Spud Energy Private Limited (SEPL). MPCL, a listed company majority owned by Fauji Foundation and Government of Pakistan will have 39pc share and also operate the block. POL and SEPL hold 32pc and 29pc shares, respectively.

Block No. 3372-25 North Dhurnal of Chakwal in Punjab was also awarded to a joint venture of POL and MPCL. In this block, 60pc shares are held by POL which is also the operator while MPCL will have 40pc shares. An official said international companies were showing lukewarm response to exploration activities in Pakistan and all recent blocks had been acquired by the local companies.

Minimum firm work commitments for both blocks is $24.32 million for the period of three years, the ministry of petroleum said, adding the companies were obligated to spend a minimum of $30,000 per year in each block on social welfare schemes which would ultimately generate economic activity in the area leading to uplifting the standard of living of the residents.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2021

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