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The Government of Pakistan has executed the Petroleum Concession Agreements (PCA) & Exploration Licences (EL) for eight blocks with four companies: United Energy Pakistan Limited (UEP), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL).

The development was shared by the Ministry of Energy’s Petroleum Division in a post on social media platform X on Wednesday.

It said the minimum investment to be carried out by the E&P companies in these blocks for prospecting will be over $33.3 million in 3 years.

It added that companies are obligated to spend a minimum of $30,000 per year in each block on social welfare schemes in their respective areas.

As per details, OGDCL has been granted license for blocks including Kotra East (Balochistan), Murradi (Sindh), Sehwan (Sindh) and Zindan-II (Punjab).

License for Multanai (Balochistan) has been awarded to Pakistan Oilfields Ltd (POL), Sawan South (Sindh) is awarded to UEP, a Chinese E&P. Meanwhile, Gambat-II (Sindh) will be a joint venture of POL and OGDCL and Saruna West (Balochistan) will be a joint venture of POL, PPL and OGDCL.

The signing ceremony was attended by Interim Minister for Petroleum, Muhammad Ali, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Government Effectiveness (SAPM) Jahanzaib Khan, DG SIFC (Special Investment Facilitation Council), Major General Tabassum Habib, and Secretary Petroleum, Momin Agha.

Interim Minister for Petroleum Muhammad Ali stated that these efforts will bear fruit for the country in the form of additional hydrocarbon reserves during the next few years.

The caretaker minister expressed that execution of the Exploration Licences and PCAs will not only enhance investment in the petroleum sector but will also contribute to bridging the energy demand and supply gap.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Energy’s Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC) provisionally awarded four new exploration blocks in Balochistan and Sindh to OGDCL, PPL, and POL.

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.

However, economic experts have termed the country’s energy sector as the ‘black hole’ in Pakistan’s economy, due to unbelievable levels of line losses and rising energy prices.

Days ago, Business Recorder, citing sources close to the caretaker Minister for Power and Petroleum, reported that Pakistan’s energy sector circular debt jumped to Rs5.725 trillion as of November 2023, of which share of the power sector stood at Rs 2.703 trillion whereas contribution of the gas sector at Rs3.022 trillion.

However, the caretaker minister had prepared an innovative plan to reduce circular debt in the energy sector.

According to the main features, the plan will be restricted to public sector companies only, budget neutral and zero leakage. Under the plan, a total settlement of Rs 1.268 trillion will be done.

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