FATA, FR regions abundant in oil, gas, says report

Published: December 26, 2012
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Khan says that 11 oil and gas exploration companies have reserved 16 blocks in Fata.

Khan says that 11 oil and gas exploration companies have reserved 16 blocks in Fata.

PESHAWAR: 

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Frontier Regions (FR) have enormous reserves of minerals, oil and natural gas that can augment economic activity in the war-torn areas, a research project concluded.  

Talking to The Express Tribune ‘Source Rock Mapping and Investigation of Hydrocarbon Potential (SRMIHP)’ Project Coordinator Dr Fazal Rabi Khan said that exploration and excavation of oil and gas will introduce a new era of development and prosperity in the tribal areas.

“There can be many job opportunities created for people in the tribal belt if mineral exploration and extraction is pursued properly,” said Khan, who is also the chairman of the Geology Department in Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (Palosa Campus).

The project was launched in 2008 under an agreement between the Fata Development Authority and National Centre of Excellence in Geology University of Peshawar. The project, which was completed at an estimated cost Rs40 million, was completed in June 2012.

Khan said that their objectives include identifying hydrocarbon generating rocks and its distribution in the region, preparing a geo-database regarding hydrocarbon potential and generating a systematic data to attract oil and gas companies for exploration.

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The project has successfully collected, processed and digitised the data as a result of which, 80% of the project area has been mapped digitally. “This mapping has led to the discovery of seven new oil and gas seepages.”

He added that 11 oil and gas exploration companies have reserved 16 blocks in Fata, which go across from FR Peshawar and Kohat to Khyber, Orakzai, Bannu, Tank and up to North and South Waziristan.

Dr Fazal Rabi Khan

He said that recently 17 oil and gas exploration companies initiated their operations in Khyber, Orakzai, North and South Waziristan agencies as well as in FR Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Tank and DI Khan.

Khan said that Mari Gas Company, HYCARBEX Inc, Oil and Gas Development Company, Tullow, Saif Energy, MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas, Orient Petroleum International, Pakistan Petroleum, ZHEN, ZAVER and others are currently working in Fata.

Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) will start drilling in these areas for the exploration of oil and gas reservoirs.  The chairman said that the foreign oil company, Tullow, has obtained a licence for the exploration of oil and gas in North Waziristan Agency and Bannu, while MOL has shown interest in Khyber Agency, Kohat and Peshawar.

“Although law and order problems can become a hindrance, the project can be managed considering its importance,” he added.

Khan elaborated that the process in Fata would not only help overcome the energy crisis but will also give a big boost to efforts for the socio-economic development of the region. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is teeming with minerals and Fata is a new oil estate, he said. “In the next five years, this province will produce more oil than Dubai and as far as shortage of gas is concerned, the hills of FR Tank are full of it.”

He said Governor Masood Kausar has also taken keen interest in the project.  “The best news for the tribal areas is that there are large reserves of natural resources and foreign and local companies interested in its extraction can exploit the resources,” said Kausar.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Hasan
    Dec 26, 2012 - 6:56AM

    “More Oil than Dubai” – but Dubai doesn’t have any oil! It’s all in Abu Dhabi…so really this article is fairly misleading.

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  • Sufi
    Dec 26, 2012 - 8:48AM

    We have been selling this rhetoric combined with high moist content coal of thar parkar and alleged third biggest gold reserves- possibly bigger than chile for a long time now. Can someone please come up with the facts please? And if all this is true why is our living conditions worse than animals. Pakistan is blessed with vast natural resources, hmm like for instance four seasons- pun intended.

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  • Occupation
    Dec 26, 2012 - 9:36AM

    This is rightlfully and lawfully Greater Afghanistan/ Pashtunistan. Please show extreme restraint when deciding to extract our natural resources without our permission. You are stealing and will be held accountable.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 26, 2012 - 10:25AM

    I hope that you will use your new found wealth for good causes and not divert the money into funding a covert war against India.

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  • Shehryar
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:37PM

    @Hassan….Thanks for highlighting.

    ET!!!!!!!, please improve your reporting. I have observed that on almost all the subject areas I have knowledge of, your reports were misleading with substantially wrong facts and figures. Now I seriously doubt the credibility of your reports on other areas which are not known to me. Your editor/reportor simply could google it to verifiy this claim. Abu Dhabi produces more than 95% of the oil produced by the whole of UAE.

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  • Balochi
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:58PM

    @Occupation: KPK and FR are part of Pakistan as they have been before and the people of KPK have laid their lives for our beloved country. They are brave sons of Pakistan!

    Pakistan = Balochistan + KPK + Sindh + Punjab + Kashmir

    Pakistan Zindabad!

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  • Dec 26, 2012 - 1:01PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    And Why Not. What did you do a day earlier with Pr. Putin?
    You have no rifgt to suspect other after that.

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  • Guru
    Dec 26, 2012 - 1:52PM

    @Hasan: correct. For the information of Dr. Fazal Rabbi Khan or whoever Dubai’s oil production is even less than that of Pakistan! Bravo ET!

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  • Nadir
    Dec 26, 2012 - 3:07PM

    All conspiracy theories shall take a cue from here!Recommend

  • Khurram
    Dec 26, 2012 - 3:20PM

    @Occupation: Pashtuns claim to be the lost tribe of Jews and so you dont even belong from this region. So there is one country known as Israel and you can go and settle there and let the indigenous people of Pakistan run their own country in a good manner.

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  • Dec 26, 2012 - 5:09PM

    For all the doubters, Pashtuns refer whole UAE as Dubai in their conversation. And there is no difference of educated and others.
    As for the reserves, I have not doubt in this report. How many of you know that Hungarian company MOL is operating in Kohat and around for last 6-7 years with 3 successful gas/oil sites under operation at the moment? They are even re-building historic Khushal Garh bridge to bring oil to Attock Refinery easily.
    Only problem is security in the FATA side. There is absolutely no doubt that Pakistan is rich in natural resources but the weakness to explore them lies in ourselves.
    @Occupation: You can live in your illusions. We people of KPK dont give a damn to your so called greater pashtunistan.

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  • Shoaib
    Dec 26, 2012 - 5:13PM

    Such news are totally baseless and misleading.

    Discovery of oil and gas seepages are meaningless.

    For oil and gas exploration, you need proper approach that includes acquiring gravity / magentic survey, Seismic 2D / 3D (most important and common) and last but not hte least drilling of exploration well.

    No oil company give a damn to reports by the government agencies becuase most of the times they lack proper data set to draw logical conclusion.

    Dubai’s only few oil field depleted many years ago with nothing left now.

    ET please get oil and gas news verified from industry professional, ideally a geologist or a geophysicist becuase media reports like this one creat alot of misleading hopes and in return we face problems from the locals.

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  • Dec 26, 2012 - 6:53PM

    @Occupation: If you are reading this newspaper from Karachi Shareef, hold Pakistani citizenship, and have been in Pakistan all along, then you do not have the right to talk like this. Take your threats west of the Durand Line. Salams

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  • I.F
    Dec 26, 2012 - 8:25PM

    It funny to see the comments – for those who think that the person quoted does not know about Dubai are extremely foolish. The survey report is for FR and Fata not Pakistan, please google the oil reserves of Dubai in comparison to Fata and FR, I doubt if you will even find any stats. No where is it stated that the oil from these areas will make Pakistan an oil exporting country!!!!

    Industrialists have not even been informed as yet, it clearly mentions SURVEY REPORT – not something that has been completed or put into place. Just wait and see.

    and just to shut up all the critics – the Governor K-P has extended the project for another two years for completing the assessment.

    With so much bitterness in the minds I doubt even if all critics can think properly. There is more to the region than just militancy.

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  • Zalmai
    Dec 26, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Khurram

    Any self respecting Pashtun that claims kinship with the lost Jewish tribes is definitely ignorant. But you on the other hand are a direct descendant of Hindu/India and now have this country, which is a colonial construct and its history is tied with that of Afghanistan and India. Pashtuns are the indigenous people of Afghanistan, KPK and Balochistan, it is you that migrated from India we were here all along.

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 26, 2012 - 10:34PM

    Hand-over the entire FATA region to the all weather friend for exploration, security and administration. This arrangement would also provide strategic depth to Pakistan which is military’s top priority besides controlling militancy in the country.

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  • Syed Irfan aSHRAF
    Dec 27, 2012 - 5:52AM

    Dear Friends the report is overall not wrong. I belong to the same area and in my village Sheikhan [district Kohat] an oil well has already started production. But this report is very much one sided. The way local resources are exploited without giving any advantage to the local people is going to give birth militancy the way it is happening in Balochistan. I was writing on this issue but I left the country and have no access to fresh data and people.I will request the editor to kindly send a team and make an independent survey of Kohat district [over 6 wells are working], Hangu [over four wells are working] and Karak [over four wells are working] districts to see who is getting what in exploiting these resources. For over four years [since 2008] the gas from my village was supplied to Islamabad but we lived without it. The villagers protested, they forced labors to stop work on the well, therefore police was called in followed by army but nothing solved. People from the district administration in collaboration with few village elders and Fata development authority have their own logic in running these resources.

    Thanks
    Syed Irfan Ashraf

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  • Khurram
    Dec 27, 2012 - 8:30AM

    @Zalmai: My dear friend it was more like a Sarcasm for the comment of Occupation otherwise I love everyone and i dont draw myself in arguments at all and for me they are non issues and the only thing matters for this region is development and education rather than demarcation of current boundaries to drag this region into more conflicts rather than making it a progressive region.

    Recommend

  • Syed Irfan aSHRAF
    Dec 27, 2012 - 9:27AM

    Dear Friends the report is not completely wrong. I belong to the same area and in my village Sheikhan [district Kohat] an oil well has already started production. But this report is very much one sided. The way local resources are exploited without giving any advantage to the local people is going to give birth militancy the way it is happening in Balochistan. I was writing on this issue but I left the country and have no access to fresh data and people.I will request the editor to kindly send a team and make an independent survey of Kohat district [over 6 wells are working], Hangu [over four wells are working] and Karak [over four wells are working] districts to see who is getting what in exploiting these resources. For over four years [since 2008] the gas from my village was supplied to Islamabad but we lived without it. The villagers protested, they forced labors to stop work on the well, therefore police was called in followed by army but nothing solved. People from the district administration in collaboration with few village elders and Fata development authority have their own logic in running these resources.

    Thanks
    Syed Irfan Ashraf

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 27, 2012 - 11:38AM

    Some people are asking for evidence of claims of rich oil and mineral resources in KPK, FATA and PATA. Those who are asking for facts can find all evidences of rich mineral and oil reserves if they just drive from Peshawar to Tank and Islamabad to Tank.The mountains of Dara Adam Khel are literally throwing coal in abundance, The Nashpa Oil Fields, The Gurguri Gas fields and many under development fields in Karak area, The Lucky Cement Factory in Pezu area (when it was established it was said that the factory has about 15 years or raw material just in one Kilometre radius), the urinium ores in FR Lucky and FR Bannu areas etc etc are just few of illustrating examples of what we have yet found in span of just few years. Not to talk of rich mineral and Oil resources of Balochistan and Sui alone.Our Baloch brothers and sisters have suffered alot due to their feudal lords and its time we give serious attention to the development of KPK, Balochistan, FATA and PATA.Enough with miseries and deprivation for them all.Let a new Pakistan rise in which people of all these areas have active participation and sense of ownership.

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