By an OGJ Correspondent
KARACHI, July 11 -- Pakistan recently signed its first production-sharing agreements for petroleum exploration off Pakistan. It issued to a Total SA-led consortium PSAs for two blocks in ultradeep Indus Delta waters 200 km off Karachi, which lie in a physically challenging environment.
The first agreement was for exploration on Indus Delta Block "G" No. 2265-1, which covers an area of 7,466 km, while the other was for Indus Delta Block "H" No. 2165-1 covering a 7,150 km area. The exploration area is in l,700-3,400 m of water, requiring cutting edge technologies.
As a part of the firm work obligation, the consortium will drill at least one exploration well during an upcoming fair-weather window starting in October that will involve investment of over $30 million.
This will be the first-ever well drilled in ultradeep Pakistan waters which, in the event of commercial discovery, would lead to an additional investment of $ 2-3 billion for field development, and also would provide fillip to petroleum exploration in vast, highly underexplored offshore areas, the true potential of which is yet to be assessed.
Operator Total holds 40% equity in the project, and partners Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia holds 30% interest, OMV AG of Austria 15%, Islamabad-based Oil & Gas Development Co. Ltd.10%, and Mari Gas Co. Ltd., Islamabad, 5%.