New initiative sees Pakistan turn to shale to fulfil its energy needs

Source: DollarPhotoClub

The Pakistan Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has turned to both conventional and unconventional reserves, like tight and shale gas, to achieve self-sufficiency in oil and gas sector – a national newspaper announced.

“During current tenure of the government, a record 227 wells have been drilled, which resulted in 65 new oil and gas discoveries,” official sources in the Ministry have revealed.

Following the Ministry’s initiative, around 560 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of additional gas and 27,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil have been injected in the system, resulting in overall production of 100,698 bpd – the highest level yet.

Despite these promising results, Pakistan is still not self-sufficient when it comes to energy, with only 48 percent of its energy requirements met through indigenous gas supply.

In line with the new policy of promoting hydrocarbon exploration, the public sector company, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Company Limited (PPL) have been tasked to carry out a pilot project to explore shale gas deposits, which have been estimated at over 10,000 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

“There is a gap of around 2bcf gas between the indigenous supply and constraint demand, thus given growing energy needs, the government is also diverting resources to explore shale gas deposits in the country,” said an official source on Sunday.

The decision to launch the pilot project comes after a study conducted in cooperation with USAID confirmed the availability of 10,159tcf of shale gas and 2,323 billions of stock tank barrels (BSTB) of shale oil in the country.

The estimates are for in place resources, across the whole country, and were the result of drilling 124 wells as well as laboratory analysis of core and cuttings, carried out in the U.S.

“The Shale gas is a new phenomena worldwide and so far only US shales have been proved as commercially viable and shale gas exploration and production is capital extensive about 10 times higher than conventional oil and gas,” the source observed.

However, the source added that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology necessary for shale gas exploration, was available in the country and already being used in conventional and tight gas reservoirs.

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