The 18th attempt to find hydrocarbons off the shore of Pakistan has been futile as no oil and gas reserves have been found off Karachi coast, Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar said Saturday.
Pakistan was hopeful of finding large oil and gas reserves in its territorial waters in the Arabian Sea. Around four months ago, Italian firm ENI, the operator of the Kekra-1 offshore block, started drilling in a joint venture with US firm ExxonMobil - one of the world's largest oil and gas firm - and the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited.
He added that Dutch firm Shell had also carried out offshore drilling 10 years ago but failed to find hydrocarbon reserves. The official said the ENI, in partnership with other companies, had invested around $100 million and predicted a 13% success rate during drilling.
Babar said the process of drilling up to more than 5500 meters was completed on Kekra-1 (Indus G-Block) off Karachi coast. He said Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited also assisted Exxon Mobil and ENI in drilling the oil well.
The PM's aide said the office of DG Petroleum Concessions has been apprised of the results of drilling. He further informed that the cost of drilling project, which has now been abandoned, remained over $100 million.
However, the official noted that India had found offshore reserves after 40 attempts.
'Therefore, Pakistan should continue its efforts to found reserves because there is a long area where reserves have been predicted. The drilling was made in ultra-deep waters some 280 kilometres away from Karachi coast.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said Pakistan would not need to import oil after reserves were found near Karachi coast.
'We are hopeful of finding large reserves of gas and oil in the sea near Karachi. The nation should pray for this and I will soon share good news regarding this,' Khan had told reporters in Islamabad.
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