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Four new exploration blocks in Balochistan have been provisionally awarded to Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MARI), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) by the Ministry of Energy's Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC).

The E&P companies informed the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) of this on Tuesday.

“The Government of Pakistan has provisionally awarded four new blocks (Shaigalu, South Pishin, Tanishpa, and Lugai) to joint ventures of PPL, OGDCL and MARI,” said PPL in its notice, of which two blocks will be operated by ODGCL, while PPL and MARI will operate one block each.

MARI, in a separate notice to the bourse, said that the blocks have been awarded after competitive bidding on the basis of work units committed by various E&P companies in the Pakistan E&P bid round 2022 (October) conducted by DGPC.

Details of the blocks provisionally awarded to oil exploration companies are:

South Pishin Balochistan

MARI (37%), PPL (35%), OGDCL (28%)

Shaigalu Balochistan

PPL (40%), MARI (30%), OGDCL (30%)

Tanishpa Balochistan

OGDCL (37%), MARI (28%), PPL (35%)

Lugai Balochistan

OGDCL (40%), MARI (30%), PPL (30%)

The formal award of petroleum rights in the blocks is conditional to the signing of petroleum exploration licenses and execution of petroleum concession agreements with the government, execution of joint operating agreements among the respective JV, and completion of related legal/procedural formalities.

MARI said that the likely acquisition of these new exploration blocks is in accordance with its exploration business plan aimed at expanding its exploration acreage for adding new resources to the company's hydrocarbon resource balance.

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.

Earlier in April, the DGPC provisionally awarded five new exploration blocks to MARI, PPL and United Energy Pakistan Limited.

In May, DGPC granted a provisional award of a new exploration block — Chah Bali — in Balochistan to OGDCL and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL).

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OGDCL, MARI & PPL get provisional award for new exploration blocks in Balochistan

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