In a significant development that brings relief to the people of Pakistan grappling with a persistent gas shortage, the country's state-owned petroleum giant, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), has announced the discovery of substantial natural gas reserves in the Sajawal district of Sindh.
According to Express News, the breakthrough came after PPL conducted drilling operations to a depth of 2,545 meters at the Shah Bandar in Jhum East One location.
Preliminary testing revealed promising results, with a wellhead flowing pressure recorded at 13.69 million standard cubic feet and a potential daily production of 236 barrels. Ongoing drilling, overseen by experts, aims to further investigate and harness the full potential of this newfound resource.
A spokesperson for PPL emphasised the positive impact of this discovery, stating that it would contribute to increasing hydrocarbon reserves and play a crucial role in addressing the energy crisis that has plagued the nation's oil and gas sector.
Read More: Gas shortages likely to persist
The collaborative efforts of PPL with Murree Petroleum, Sindh Energy Holding, and Government Holding Private Limited have been instrumental in the excavation process at the Shah Bandar well.
The timing of this discovery is especially crucial as Pakistan grapples with a growing trade deficit, largely attributed to the hefty imports of oil and gas to meet the country's energy demands.
To bridge this gap, authorities have often resorted to procuring expensive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from exporting countries during the winter season. The failure to secure long-term contractual agreements with fixed prices has forced officials to rely on spot cargoes of LNG, contributing to domestic price hikes and subsequent inflation.
Addressing these pressing concerns, the newly discovered natural gas reserves offer a domestic solution to Pakistan's energy needs. Utilising indigenous resources could not only alleviate the trade deficit but also break the cycle of seeking loans from multiple international lenders.