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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 468, 13 December 2022

Bulk of Pakistan’s oil and gas reserves depleted



What this means for the country’s energy space?

Bhoomika Sesharaj

On 13 December, the Petroleum Division submitted a report to the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) and said that out of the 1,234 million barrels of oil reserves of the country, 985 million barrels are largely consumed. These barrels amount to nearly 80 per cent of the total oil reserves and leave the country with a mere 249 million barrels. The Petroleum Division emphasised that the recoverable oil reserves of the provinces lay a meek outlook on the overall energy capacity of the country as well and estimated that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had the largest recoverable reserves, with 40 per cent, followed by Punjab with 40 per cent, Sindh with 35.5 per cent and Balochistan with 26 per cent recoverable rate. 

Pakistan’s oil production stood at 27 million barrels in the previous year and completed its production goal by 90 per cent along with being a major gas producer to fulfil its domestic needs. The country also became an importer of liquified natural gas (LNG) in 2015 but has consumed 66.6 per cent of the total gas reserves, leaving 33.4 per cent of the remaining reserves untouched. The exploration and production sector (E&P) of Pakistan has been unable to increase gas production and major oil discoveries. The AGP said that the Petroleum Division’s report laid bare the effect of the lack of substantial discoveries and the rapid depletion of the existing reserves amounting to the widening gap in the demand and supply of natural gas in the country.
 

The AGP reiterated that logistical issues within the Ministry of Energy also added to the crisis, with the Exploration and Production sector being regulated by more than one regulator and the absence of an independent upstream regulator has resulted in an undue delay in the extension of relevant concessions, leading to the inaccurate allocation of gas and oil in the country. The unavailability of technologies to tap unconventional sources of energy and the E&P sector’s slow exploration methods have largely led to the depletion of oil reserves in Pakistan.  (Zafar Bhutta, “Most of Pakistan’s oil, gas reserves consumed,” The Express Tribune, 13 December 2022)

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