Oil rig
Representational image. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Pakistan’s expected discovery of massive oil reserves is located 230km off shore Karachi close to the Iran borders, a senior official has confided to Gulf News.

“It is too early to determine the size of the reserves but it is expected to be big enough to cater to Pakistan’s oil needs,” a source close to the information said on the condition of anonymity.

He, however, said the initial findings suggested that Pakistan may become an oil exporting country in the future.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan has also hinted at the discovery of oil and gas reserves. He said that the offshore drilling around 230 kilometres into the sea has found positive signs of large reserves. “We will reveal details next month,” he said,

The minister said: “The drilling for oil and gas exploration by an energy firm has reached the lowest layer and entered the final stages, and is hinting at the discovery of large reserves. However, the final word in this regard is expected next month.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also hinted at finding ‘massive’ oil reserves off the coast of Karachi.

He had said that the Pakistan would not need to import oil after reserves are found near Karachi’s seas. He said he would share the good news with everyone soon.

Things would dramatically change

A group of multinational companies had started offshore drilling at a distance of 230 kilometres from Karachi for the exploration of oil and gas on January 14.

In December 2018, Exxon Mobil had announced that it would reinvest in the Pakistani market after a gap of nearly three decades.

$ 18 billion

Pakistan's current account deficit

According to media reports, if the oil deposits are discovered as expected, Pakistan will be among top the 10 oil-producing countries.

Pakistan currently meets only 15 per cent of its domestic petroleum needs with crude oil production of around 22 million tons; the other 85 per cent is supplied through imports.

The country facing huge current account deficit, of up to $18 billion, is spending a substantial amount of foreign exchange reserves on import of oil. The import bill of Pakistan rose by to $12.928 billion in the July-May 2017-18 period of the last fiscal year.

ExxonMobile Exploration activity

ExxonMobil holds 25 per cent interest in Block G located offshore Pakistan which is operated by Eni Pakistan Limited.

The Indus Block G, which is approximately 7,500 square kilometres, is located in ultra deep water of an underexplored and promising area offshore Pakistan.

The block is located approximately 143 miles (230 kilometres) off the coast of Pakistan in water depth of about 6,200 feet (1,900 meters).

ExxonMobil is working with its partners and the government of Pakistan to evaluate the full exploration potential of this large offshore block.