Austrian company OMV has discovered gas in Pakistan’s southwestern province that will boost the country’s depleting reserves which have started to hurt the country’s industrial sector.
The industrial sector in the South Asia’s second-biggest economy is bracing for a partial shutdown as demand tends to rise in winter, putting more pressure on the supply that falls short of nearly 2 billion cubic feet of gas a day during the peak season.
OMV announced this week to discover 15 million standard cubic feet per day, or 2,500 barrels of oil equivalent (boe), in the Latif South-1 exploration well which, it says, has opened up new opportunities in the area. Furtehr appraisal work is needed to confirm the size of the discovery.
“We are very pleased with this exploration success. The appraisal and development of this discovery will potentially enable us to enhance the production in Pakistan,” said Johann Pleininger, OMV Executive Board Member responsible for Upstream.
OMV (PAKISTAN) holds a 33.4% share in the exploration license; joint venture partners are Pakistan Petroleum Limited (33.3%) and Eni Pakistan (M) d Limited (33.3%).
Together with its partners, OMV delivers around 300 mn scf/d and 1.5 kbbl/d condensate to the local market. It also holds 10% stake in Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), a joint venture between Pakistan and Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan is desperate to boost supplies to meet rising demand as existing sources are drying up and new discoveries have been rare.
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan said in September the industrial sector in the central Punjab province will be without gas this winter as the supplies are barely enough to meet household demand.
Pakistan has started importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar after sanctions on Iran for its alleged nuclear program halted progress on a multi-billion dollar pipeline project that was envisaged in late 1990s and should have been completed by now.
A U.S. deal with Iran to halt its nuclear advancement has enabled Pakistan to expedite work on the project that will provide 21.5 million cubic meters of gas a day for 25 years and help the country meet demand.