Global E&P firms refrain from bidding for oil, gas blocks

ISLAMABAD-The caretaker government’s efforts to bring fresh foreign investment into the country’s energy market have suffered a setback as no international exploration and production (E&P) company has responded to the bidding process of granting of exploration licenses for 10 oil and gas blocks in the country. 
Even the local oil and gas companies refrained from bidding for four blocks and submitted bids for only six blocks, official source told The Nation. In August 2023, the Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions had invited applications from the petroleum exploration companies for grant of petroleum exploration rights (Exploration License) over 10 blocks in the provinces of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab.
Applications were invited for six blocks located in Sindh including, Murradi (2767-7), Malir-II (2467-18), Sawan South (2668-26), Mithiani(2667-17), Gambat -II ( 2668-25) and Zamzama West (2667-18 ). In Balochistan, three blocks were offered for bidding, which included Saruna West (2666-1), Kalata North (2966-4) and Kotra East (2867-8).In Punjab applications were invited for one block of Rachna-II (3071-6). Bids for award of new blocks were opened on Thursday. Four blocks including Rachna-II (3071-6) located in Punjab, Malir-II (2467-18), Zamzama West (2667-18 ) in Sindh, and Kalata North (2966-4) located in Balochistan have received no bids from the exploration companies, official source said. 
For Murradi (2767-7) in Sindh, OGDCL has offered 125 work units, for Sawan South (2668-26) located in Sindh, OGDCL, Prime Pakistan Limited and UEPL have offered 650 work units, 844 work units, 930 work units respectively, the source maintained. For Mithiani (2667-17), UEPL has offered 820 working units, for Gambat-II (2668-25) Prime Pakistan has offered 151 work units, PPL and OGDCL with 70pc and 30pc shareholding offered 60 work units. For Saruna West (2666-1) Balochistan POL, PPL and OGDCL with 40pc, 30pc and 30pc share respectively have offered 170 work units, and Kotra East (2867-8) OGDCL has offered 120 work unit. It is worth mentioning here that in June 2023 also the government had received bids only for three blocks out of 18 blocks for exploration license. There was no bid from any national or international E&P company against remaining 15 blocks.

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