Sindh, Punjab hold shale gas deposits of 95t cubic feet

Published: November 5, 2015
Sindh is the biggest producer of natural gas contributing 2,780 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) followed by Balochistan with 875 mmcfd and Punjab with 143 mmcfd. PHOTO: FILE

Sindh is the biggest producer of natural gas contributing 2,780 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) followed by Balochistan with 875 mmcfd and Punjab with 143 mmcfd. PHOTO: FILE


The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources revealed in a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee here on Wednesday that Pakistan had shale gas deposits of trillions of cubic feet, of which 95 trillion cubic feet could be extracted only in Sindh and southern Punjab.

In a briefing to the committee, officials of the petroleum ministry pointed out that findings of a study conducted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) showed that there were shale gas reserves of trillions of cubic feet in Pakistan.

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The future of Pakistan was bright as far as shale gas resources were concerned, they said. However, the country lacks the capacity to tap difficult-to-reach deposits of shale gas and requires the assistance of foreign companies as well as latest technology.

Talking about natural gas production in the country, the officials said Pakistan was churning out 30% less output than the domestic requirement.

Sindh is the biggest producer of natural gas contributing 2,780 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) followed by Balochistan with a share of 875 mmcfd. Punjab produces a small volume of 143 mmcfd.

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In oil exploration, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is leading other provinces with an output of 42,601 barrels per day. It is followed by Sindh with production of 31,179 barrels per day whereas Punjab has a share of 14,209 barrels per day. Balochistan has the lowest contribution with production of 89 barrels per day.

Officials of the petroleum ministry told the committee that there were 2,210 wells across the country comprising 947 exploration wells and 1,263 development wells. Hydrocarbon reserves have been found in 323 wells – 72 contained oil and 251 had gas – with a 34% success rate.

Overall, the ministry has issued 179 exploration licences and 160 leases and 99 wells had been drilled before partition.

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In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, an area of 34,104.17 square kms is being explored for oil and gas reserves with a 36% success rate. In Balochistan, exploration work is going on over an area of 112,713.38 square km with a 28% success rate.

In Punjab, 68,997.89 square kms are being drilled for oil and gas deposits and the success rate is 25%. In Sindh, exploration companies are searching for hydrocarbons over an area of 93,556.05 square km with a 34% success rate.

In terms of discoveries made so far, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have made 15 discoveries each, Punjab has made 42 discoveries and Sindh has to its credit 255 discoveries.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • khan
    Nov 5, 2015 - 11:05AM

    Shale gas extraction will be a fail tactic to apply in Pakistan. Pakistan is already short of water and this process requires huge amount of water. On the other hand water used in it becomes waste as it is mixed with chemicals so it will be thrown into rivers without filtering. On the other hand you cannot apply this technique to lands having water tables near to the surface, as this is the case in Sindh Punjab and many areas of Kpk and Balochistan. Recommend

  • Virkaul
    Nov 5, 2015 - 1:50PM

    This report is supposed to be on Shale gas extraction but hardly talks about it except the estimated reserves. Shale gas requires 1.5 to 2 gallons of water per MMBTU of gas extracted and in arid region of Sindh and Balochistan it could be a challenge.Recommend

  • Fawad khan
    Nov 5, 2015 - 2:16PM

    Kpk leading the way. Good job.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Nov 5, 2015 - 6:24PM

    According to the report, 95 trillion of Shale gas deposits have just been discovered in Sindh and Punjab, in addition to plentiful discovered and undiscovered reserves of gas and oil in Pakistan.

    As for natural gas, the production figures are Sindh, 2,780 million cubic feet per day, followed by Balochistan 875, and Punjab with 143. These production figures together meet 70 percent of the present gas requirements of the country.

    As regards oil, the production figures are: Kjyber-Pakhtunkhwa 42,601 barrels per day, Sindh 31,179 bpd, Punjab 14,209 bpd and Balochistan 89 bpd.

    Discoveries of oil and gas made so far are highest in Sindh, 255, with 42 in Punjab and KP and Balochistan 15 each while the rates of success in terms of discoveries is, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa highest with 36 %, followed by Sindh 34%, Balochistan 28% and Punjab 25%.

    We have got to remember that due to law and order problems, the areas under exploration would have been much smaller in the past. However, with improved situation now, the areas under exploration can be substantially increased, with proportionate rise in discoveries.

    And that means that instead of entering into long-term, high-price dubious import deals for LNG, and establishment of costly terminals which, under the present terms, would require substantial payments even if remaining unused, the government should concentrate on increasing the areas under exploration. Also, the government should enter into agreements with companies of repute for the exploitation of shale gas of which plentiful reserves exist in the country.

    In these circumstances, the government’s enthusiasm for signing long term contract for the import of LNG from Qatar, probably at a high price, and the establishment of costly terminals does not make much economic sense, though of course such dubious deals have a fantastic capacity to improve the ‘personal’ economies of those misusing their powers. While some imports may be necessary during the interim period before the indigenous production increases sufficiently to meet local requirements, there still does not seem to be much sense in burdening the country with long-term, fixed price mysterious deals.


  • Lion King
    Nov 5, 2015 - 8:54PM

    Wadera Corruption Party thugs the true reflection of interior sindh’s

    people will most likely sell these reserves at

    throwaway price to foreigners

    in return for dirty


  • Sandip
    Nov 7, 2015 - 2:42AM

    From the data it seems that all the other provinces have the natural resources while the rapacious punjab province is only taking away their resources. No wonder the punjabis make sure that they keep an iron grip on the uniform, especially after what happened in Bangladesh.Recommend

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