Government starts process for pre-qualification of global firms for marketing of offshore blocks

ISLAMABAD-The government has started the process for pre-qualification of international companies for the marketing of offshore blocks, as the expensive roadshows conducted by the Petroleum Division have failed to yield any positive results.
The Petroleum Division has invited applications for pre-qualification for open framework agreement for marketing of offshore petroleum blocks of Pakistan and developing a successful and internationally competitive bid round. 
It’s worth to note that few months back the Petroleum Division, headed by Minister of State for Petroleum Mussadik Malik, had arranged roadshows in Canada and US to invite foreign companies to invest in offshore blocks. Million of rupees were spent on the roadshows and at the end the government resorted for hiring firm for the marketing of the offshore blocks, official source told The Nation.
The new process of hiring the company for marketing of the offshore block shows that either road shows were irrelevant or the current process, the source argued. Secondly the hiring of a company for marketing and preparing bid rounds will further delay the process of offshore exploration. 
The bidding process for offshore blocks is unlikely to start prior mid 2024, as the government has started the bidding process for hiring for open framework agreement for marketing of offshore petroleum blocks of Pakistan.
The bidders have been asked to obtain tender documents from the office of Director General Petroleum Concessions (DGPC). Sealed applications are required to be submitted by the interested companies to DGPC, by 10:00 a.m. (PST) on 05th September, 2023. The successful applicants will be selected in accordance with the TORs and fulfillment of requirements provided in the tender documents. 
If everything goes well, the process of hiring the international company will be completed in September, and it will require another six months to properly start the bidding process. As per bid documents Pakistan is looking to offer upstream investment opportunities via an offshore exploration bid round. Bid rounds are facing a number of material challenges: licensing activity had already slowed before the pandemic; the uncertainty around energy transition is challenging the reserve replacement paradigm for many oil & gas players; and the carbon intensity of oil & gas fields is under increased scrutiny by potential investors. 
Against this backdrop it is imperative to develop a robust and competitive bid round strategy and execute with precision and international best practice. It is also worth to mention here that in 2019, the government had to abandon drilling of offshore block at the Kekra-1 after the companies involved had failed to discover any oil and gas reserves there.

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