Pakistan’s energy sector has received a significant boost with the announcement of new gas reserves discovered in Sindh. Following Mari Petroleum’s recent discovery, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) has also reported a substantial find in the Latif block of Khairpur district. This discovery comes at a crucial time when the country is grappling with depleting energy resources and increasing demand. The latest discovery will add more hydrocarbon reserves and help increase the local hydrocarbon supply in the country, potentially reducing the gas demand-supply gap.

PPL, formed in 1950 with a primary focus on the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, initiated the drilling of the new well on May 5, 2024. The drilling reached its target depth of 3438 meters, unveiling a reservoir capable of yielding 11.27 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCF) of gas. This discovery is particularly significant given the current scarcity of gas, which meets approximately 35% of Pakistan’s energy requirements. The successful drilling and identification of new gas reserves highlight PPL’s continued commitment to enhancing the country’s energy security.

Natural gas is a vital component of Pakistan’s energy mix, used extensively as fuel in factories, vehicles, and homes. Gas remains an essential energy source for various sectors, including manufacturing, transportation, and domestic consumption. However, pre-existing reserves are rapidly depleting, leading to a pressing need for new discoveries to ensure a steady supply. The recent findings by PPL and Mari Petroleum are therefore highly encouraging, offering hope for enhanced local hydrocarbon supply and a reduction in the gap between supply and demand.

In a country where energy shortages often lead to power outages and industrial slowdowns, these new reserves are a welcome development.

Pakistan is endowed with significant natural gas reserves, primarily located in the provinces of Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In Sindh alone, gas is being extracted from 13 different locations. The province of Sindh has historically been a key area for gas production, contributing a large portion of the national output. Additionally, large deposits of oil and gas have been discovered in Kirk and Dera Ismail Khan, further highlighting the country’s potential in the energy sector. These regions have been instrumental in sustaining Pakistan’s energy supply over the years. The country’s diversified geographical presence of gas reserves is a strategic advantage, enabling continuous exploration and production activities across different regions. This diversity also mitigates the risk of over-reliance on a single source or area, ensuring a more balanced and resilient energy supply network.

Mari Petroleum, one of Pakistan’s largest energy and exploration companies, recently informed the stock exchange about the discovery of new gas reserves in the Ghazi Formation in Sindh, which will yield five million MMSCF of gas per day. Mari Petroleum’s continued success in exploration underscores its role as a major player in the country’s energy sector. Furthermore, the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) has resumed production from the Nashpachar well in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is expected to reduce the country’s import bill by $59.85 million. These discoveries by multiple companies demonstrate a collective effort to enhance Pakistan’s energy self-sufficiency.

The discovery of new gas reserves holds significant economic implications for Pakistan. By harnessing its natural resources, the country can manage its declining economy more effectively. The addition of new hydrocarbon reserves will not only boost local supply but also help reduce the reliance on imported energy, thereby alleviating the financial burden on the country. Energy imports have historically strained Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, contributing to economic instability. Reducing dependency on imported gas can help stabilize the national currency and improve the overall economic outlook. Additionally, increased local production of natural gas can lead to job creation in exploration, drilling, and related industries. The development of new gas fields requires skilled labor, technical expertise, and infrastructure development, all of which contribute to economic growth.

The energy sector’s expansion can also stimulate investments in ancillary industries such as equipment manufacturing, transportation, and services, further boosting the economy.

The contribution of new gas reserves to Pakistan’s economy cannot be overstated. Energy is a critical driver of economic activity, and ensuring a stable and affordable supply is essential for sustained growth. The manufacturing sector, which relies heavily on natural gas, can benefit from lower energy costs, leading to increased production and competitiveness in both domestic and international markets. Reduced energy costs can also translate into lower production costs for goods and services, benefiting consumers through lower prices. Moreover, the transportation sector, particularly public and commercial transport, can gain from a steady supply of natural gas, promoting the use of cleaner and more cost-effective fuel alternatives. This can lead to reduced operational costs and enhanced efficiency, contributing to economic stability.

The discovery of new gas reserves also enhances Pakistan’s strategic position in the region. By increasing its energy self-sufficiency, the country can reduce its vulnerability to external energy supply disruptions and geopolitical risks. This stability can attract foreign investments, as investors seek stable and reliable markets with secure energy supplies.

The announcement of new gas reserves in Sindh by PPL and Mari Petroleum marks a promising development for Pakistan’s energy sector. These discoveries will contribute to meeting the country’s energy demands, support industrial and domestic needs, and provide a much-needed boost to the economy. As Pakistan continues to explore and develop its natural resources, the future of its energy security looks increasingly optimistic. By leveraging its natural gas reserves, Pakistan can strengthen its economy, reduce its import dependency, and pave the way for sustainable growth and development.

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