Pakistan found one of the largest hydrocarbon reserves, with potential deposits of one trillion cubic feet, in Balochistan’s Margand block owned by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL).
PPL, which operates the block with 100% working interest, has already announced a hydrocarbon discovery in its first exploratory well Margand X-1, located in Kalat district, Balochistan.
However, PPL a state-run oil and gas exploration company – has not yet announced the actual size of the hydrocarbon reserves in the block.
Margand X-1 was drilled on June 30, 2019, which reached a depth of 4,500 metres inside Chiltan limestone. On the basis of wireline logs, Modular Dynamics Testing (MDT) was carried out, which proved the presence of hydrocarbon.
Drill Stem Test (DST) of the well showed a flow of 10.7 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) at 64/64 inches choke size with flowing wellhead pressure at 516 pounds per square inch (psi) and 132 barrels of liquid per day.
Since 2000, no major discovery of hydrocarbon reserves has been made due to low wellhead gas prices and bureaucratic snags. Several companies like British Petroleum, Niko Resources and Malaysia-based Petronas have also pulled out of the country due to small hydrocarbon discoveries.
During the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), no major attention was paid to exploiting the domestic oil and gas reserves and instead liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contracts were signed.
Currently Pakistan is primarily focusing on imported gas to bridge the shortfall due to the absence of major discoveries.
Official said in the statement that “Initial estimates based on the structure of the Margand block reveal that this block has one trillion cubic feet of reserves adding that drilling of more wells would support the estimate.
Official further said there had been no major discoveries in the country in the past 15 years. Pakistan will save $900 million due to LNG import substitution if PPL flows reach 300 mmcfd.
A former PPL board director said gas had been discovered in a new area of the Margand block. Mari Petroleum was also working in the area and the gas discovery in the block would be a game changer for the Pakistan.