Pakistan to auction oil, gas blocks by year-end

Pakistan has announced that it will auction highly lucrative oil and gas exploration blocks, mainly the ones earlier awarded to exploration firms but their deals were later cancelled or remained under litigation, by the end of the year in an effort to increase hydrocarbon production. This would also help reduce the country’s reliance on expensive imported fuels. “The government is doubling down on its efforts to enhance gas production by launching the next exploration and production bidding round, targeting high-potential ‘surrendered’ and ‘under litigation’ blocks, by the year end,” the Ministry of Energy said in a statement. “Earlier, the government cancelled the awarded blocks in Dera Bugti (Balochistan) and Sindh after the winning companies failed to initiate work or develop the blocks for production or they were placed under litigation for some reason,” most of the blocks were cancelled after exploration firms failed to initiate work in the given time frame due to issues in the exploration areas. The government had auctioned 20 blocks late last year, accepted bids for 15 of them in January 2021 and awarded only six to the local oil and gas exploration companies in April. This suggests that the government is planning to invite bids again for the remaining 14 blocks including the ones whose deals were revoked or were placed under litigation.


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