Pakistan’s oil production fell sharply by 19% to 63,784 barrels in August 2021, and gas production fell 3% to 3,351 million cubic feet (MMFD) per day, leaving the country dependent on imports.
The main reason behind the collapse is said to be an annual improvement in two oil and gas fields. Completion of the annual ATA exercise will return supplies to levels seen in early August, but the results will remain low compared to recent or recorded highs.
The situation calls for the announcement of the much-anticipated Petroleum Policy 2020 to revitalize oil and gas exploration companies to increase efforts to find new hydrocarbon reserves and reduce imports.
At the same time, oil and gas exploration companies were expected to expand their workplaces, compared to what was expected in Balochistan and Kiber-Pakuntukwa, said AHL research director Tahir Abbas.
It was a time when oil and gas companies were refraining from exploring some potential locations for security reasons. “The government has now established peace in such areas,” he said.
According to Pakistan Petroleum Information Service (PISS), Arif Habib Limited (AHL) reported an average of 78,708 barrels per day, while 3,455 mmcfd was completed on August 3, 2021, respectively.
Speaking to the Express Tribune, AHL Tahir Abbas said: “Oil production fell 8.7% during the week. Meanwhile, gas production has stabilized at 3,351 mmcfd.
In the week ended August 24, oil production fell 10% a week due to the annual change in the Mela field, in addition to Nashpa. Gas production decreased by 2% in one week following the closure of the Gambat South gas processing plant.
Abbas recalled that in recent years, oil production was 95,000 bpd and gas was more than 4,000 mmcfd.
In the early days of the former Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz government, oil production exceeded 100,000 bpd, records show.
“The main reason for the continued decline in oil and gas production is the rapid depletion of Pakistan’s hydrocarbon reserves,” Abbas said.
On the other hand, local oil and gas companies have failed to make significant gains over the past two decades.
Pakistan is a major oil producer in Tal Block. If we fail to make a big breakthrough, the stock will end up in the next 16 years.
Fuel demand is over 500,000 bpd and gas is estimated at more than 5 billion cubic feet per day. The country meets 70% of its energy needs through imports, accounting for one-fifth of its total imports.
The government should announce its Petroleum Policy 2020 to introduce new incentives for oil and gas exploration companies. “The government has done a lot of work on the policy and it is expected to be introduced soon,” he said.
Published by the Express Tribune on September 12thTh, 2021.
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