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In a major development for Pakistan, a consortium of the country’s major E&P Companies has been awarded Offshore Block 5 in Abu Dhabi's second competitive exploration block bid round, informed Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), one of the companies in the consortium, on Tuesday.

“We hereby notify that a consortium of Pakistani Companies has been awarded Offshore Block 5,” said MPCL in its filing to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

The consortium comprises Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) (Operator), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), and Government Holdings (Private) Limited (GHPL).

In its second bid round, Abu Dhabi offered five blocks (two onshore and 3 offshore) through the competitive bidding submission deadline of December 31, 2019. The un-risked in-place exploration potential of these blocks is estimated at 6 billion barrels of oil and 44 TFC of gas encompassing a total area of 34,000 sq km.

Pakistan's E&P consortium to incorporate special purpose vehicle

The Pakistani E&P consortium was awarded offshore Block 5, which covers an area of 6,223 square kilometers and is located 100 kilometers northeast of Abu Dhabi city.

“To this end, the consortium companies have established an independent company viz., Pakistan International Oil Limited (PIOL) at Abu Dhabi Global Market with each consortium company having a 25% equity stake in PIOL,” said MPCL.

The exploration concession agreement was signed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Managing Director and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber on August 31, 2021, and Moin Raza Khan, MD/CEO of PPL, on behalf of PIOL.

“This concession award is the first opportunity for Pakistani E&P companies to explore, appraise and develop oil and gas resources in Abu Dhabi, along with establishing a strategic partnership with ADNOC,” said the company.

The development provides an opportunity for the consortium of Pakistan's E&P companies to join the world-renowned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and unlock untapped resources in one of the world's largest hydrocarbon super-basins by investing in a trusted and reliable business environment.

Export-oriented sectors: ECC approves continuation of gas, power subsidy

Weeks ago, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) permitted these four companies to invest a total of $400mn ($100mn by each company) in Aug'21 for 5 years by issuance of Corporate Guarantees in favor of ADNOC and Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairs (SCFEA).

With this, the consortium formed a Special Purpose Vehicle, which made it eligible for the exploration block.

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