Pakistan revises petroleum policies to encourage onshore exploration

Pakistan has amended its petroleum policy to encourage onshore exploration. The move is similar to one made recently to encourage offshore exploration. Petroleum Sec. Abdulah Yousaf said that he was not satisfied with the pace of exploration and was devising a 10-year plan to gradually increase exploration activity to 100 wells/year.


By an OGJ Online Correspondent

KARACHI, May 17 -- Pakistan has amended its petroleum policy to encourage onshore exploration.

The move is similar to one made recently to encourage offshore exploration (OGJ Online, Feb. 12, 2001).

Petroleum Sec. Abdulah Yousaf said that he was not satisfied with the pace of exploration and was devising a 10-year plan to gradually increase exploration activity to 100 wells/year.

The secretary said at a briefing the government cut the income tax rate to a uniform rate of 40%, down from the present 50-55%.

The initial term of exploration licenses has been increased to 5 years, with two renewals of 2 years each, against the previous initial 3 years, with 3 extensions of 1 year each.

He said the zones had also been redefined to encourage interest.

He said for pipeline infrastructure development, open access regime would be followed. For tie-in pipelines constructed by a producer, buyer, or a third party, separate transmission tariffs will be allowed.

A 5-year retention of significant gas discoveries will be allowed. He said the government had, for marginal discoveries, withdrawn the $500,000 production bonus requirement.

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