When landlord Muneer Ahmed ordered the digging of a well in Bahawalpur, the last thing he expected to strike was black gold.
Following the discovery of oil near the Lal Sohanra National Park, the area was taken into custody by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources. The ministry also deputed security officials around the well and its surrounding areas.
A joint team of Pakistani and Chinese engineers has been formed to work in the area, said an official from the petroleum ministry. A large oil reservoir has been discovered but we are trying to locate its depth, the official said.
He added that engineers are also studying other areas in district Bahawalpur to check the availability of oil in the region.
The property where oil was found had been part of agricultural land donated to farmers, said Hassan Daha, former mayor from the area.
The land, however, is under the jurisdiction of Lal Sohanra National Park, he added.
Ahmed, who made the inadvertent discovery, said he was not aware of it earlier but has now been informed by officials that the area where the discovery was made did not fall in his property. The China National Petroleum Corporation has been tasked to work, in coordination with local engineers, in the area.
Meanwhile, the site has been cordoned off with barbed wire on the orders of local police chief Ishaq Jehangir.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ