Ministry in process to award 32 new exploration blocks

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Rs 415 mln equipment being acquired for natural resources’ mapping

ISLAMABAD, Sep 8 (APP): The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is in the process to award 32 new blocks to oil and gas exploration companies operating in different parts of the country.

“Under the petroleum policy 2012, 46 new blocks have already been awarded, while the clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 more exploration blocks to E&P Companies through bidding process,” official sources told APP.

Besides, they informed that the ministry had awarded 70
Supplemental Agreements (SAs) for conversion to Petroleum Concessions Agreements (PCAs), aimed at expediting oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country.

“As many as 70 SAs covering 94 leases have been executed, while remaining applications are also being reviewed and finalized on a fast track basis,” they added.

They said Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy 2012, as amended in July 2013, provided an incentive to existing licence/lease holders for the conversion.

They said the agreements had been finalized in consultation
with all stakeholders including from the Petroleum Sector as well as ministries of Finance and Law and Justice.

PIA Clarification Answering a question, the sources said licences of all oil and gas companies failing to start exploration work as per their obligations would be revoked.

The government, they said, had tightened the noose around non performing E&P companies, having the licences, and revoked around 16 such permits recently.

They said the action was being taken against the inactive E&P companies holding licences for last several years without any ground work.

They said licenses were not canceled instantly, rather such
companies were given notices and provided an opportunity to present their cases, saying that all process was completed in a transparent manner before revoking licences.