ISLAMABAD: In a major development, US energy giant ExxonMobil has acquired 25% shareholding in offshore drilling in Pakistan.
Earlier, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Italian energy firm Eni had 33% stake each in offshore drilling in the country. Now, ExxonMobil has acquired 25% shareholding, reducing the share of all partner companies to 25% each.
An agreement in that regard was signed at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on Monday among ExxonMobil, Government Holdings Private Limited (GHPL), PPL, Eni and OGDC.
ExxonMobil has vast experience of offshore drilling for the search of hydrocarbons and it will help boost efforts of partner companies for oil and gas exploration in the country.
Offshore drilling has brought a revolution in the US oil and gas market and even shaken the monopoly of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – a global grouping of major oil producers and exporters.
In its first assessment, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that Pakistan had massive deposits of 10,159 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 2.3 trillion barrels of shale oil – figures that were several times higher than those released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
According to the EIA assessment in April 2011, Pakistan had 206 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the lower Indus Basin, of which 51 trillion cubic feet were recoverable. However, in June 2013, it revised the estimate upwards to 586 trillion cubic feet, of which 105 trillion cubic feet were technically recoverable.