Following the announcement by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that the country is planning to start drilling for shale gas in 2016, two domestic companies have been engaged in exploring Pakistan’s rich unconventional reserves.
“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, estimated at more than 10,000 trillion cubic feet (tcf),” The News International said, quoting an official source.
Canadian E&P company, Tallahassee Resources, is already carrying exploration work in the Karak North block, located in Karak district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and covering an area of 99.14 square kilometres. Tallahassee Resources, a company with assets in in British Columbia and Canadian Alberta, has made a required minimum work commitment of $3.07 million. It also has committed to spending a minimum of $30,000 per year in the block on social welfare schemes.
Pakistan’s interest in exploring its unconventional resources stems not only from its shortage of energy – roughly 62 percent of the Pakistan’s population uses biomass for cooking (about 112 million people) due to inadequate electricity and gas supply (EIA) – but also from the recent assessment conducted in collaboration with US Agency for International Development (USAID) which showed Pakistan to have more than 10,000 tcf shale gas reserves. The study, initiated in January 2014, revealed that Pakistan had 10,159 tcf of shale gas resource and 2,323 billion barrels of shale oil.
Prior to this assessment, Pakistan’s shale resources were estimated by the EIA’s Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources report published in 2013 at 105 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas and 9.1 billion barrels of shale oil.
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