Mari Petroleum Company Limited has decided to allocate gas produced by Zarghum South field, situated 52 kilometres northeast of Quetta, to Balochistan in a bid to win the support of local people for ramping up exploration activities in the province, officials say.
In Balochistan, oil and gas exploration has slowed down markedly because of the poor law and order situation and planned work on several blocks with potential hydrocarbon reserves could not be initiated.
Mari Petroleum believes the company’s move will help project a model for other firms to follow and resume exploration and development activities in Balochistan.
Officials say the commencement of gas production in the vicinity of Quetta has its own dynamics and will definitely contribute to the socio-economic wellbeing of adjoining areas in particular and Balochistan in general.
Recoverable gas reserves in Zarghum South field are estimated at 76.57 billion standard cubic feet. The field has the capacity to produce initially 20 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), which may cater to the needs of 250,000 households with an average family size of seven persons.
Based on data acquired during testing of wells, it is expected that the field will continue producing gas for 17 years. Cost of the pipeline, to be built for transporting gas, is estimated at $12 million.
According to key features of the Zarghum field development plan, all natural gas processing packages are located at a single facility. Gas is to be produced and consumed in the same province with dedicated infrastructure provided by Sui Southern Gas Company.
Socio-economic betterment of the area has already commenced with joint venture development activities. The joint venture has so far injected $82 million into field development.
According to officials, Mari Petroleum has economised on the implementation cost by developing its own resources and managing and supervising construction work instead of engaging a third-party contractor.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.
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