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The Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC) has granted a provisional award of a new exploration block — Chah Bali — in Balochistan to Oil and Gas Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL).

The development was shared by OGDCL in its notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday. The company said that it participated in the competitive bidding round for exploration blocks held by the government in April and the block has been awarded on the basis of work units committed by OGDCL, with a working interest of 70%. Its joint venture partner POL has the remaining 30% working interest.

“The provisional award will be formalized upon execution of petroleum concession agreements with DGPC, necessary agreements with joint venture partners and completion of regulatory and procedural formalities,” read the notice.

OGDCL said that participating in the bidding round is part of its strategy to invest in its core business, accelerate exploratory activities and augment hydrocarbon reserves balance.

Last month, the Director General (P) Petroleum Division opened bids for 14 onshore blocks for grant of petroleum exploration rights at the Petroleum House.

Petroleum exploration: Bids opened for 14 onshore blocks

Bids were received for nine blocks and opened by the bid opening committee in the presence of companies’ representatives. The minimum investment to be carried out by exploration and production (E&P) companies in these blocks will be over $70.2 million in three years. Apart from E&P activities, the successful companies will also spend over $810,000 in social welfare for the areas of their respective blocks.

Facing growing energy demand, Pakistan heavily relies on fossil fuels to power its economy and a major chunk of its import bill comes from the purchase of petroleum products and other fuels.

Pakistan Petroleum begins oil & gas production from DS X-1 well

Pakistan oil imports have witnessed a significant surge in recent months, owing to its rise in the international market. Import of the overall petroleum group stood at $14.812 billion, witnessing an increase of 96.09% during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (2021-22) as compared to $7.553 billion reported in the corresponding period last year.

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