MPCL is a leading oil and gas exploration and production company of the Country, currently operating eight exploration licences and is a Joint Venture partner in five other blocks with leading companies. Exploration Department plays the pivotal role of adding new oil and gas reserves through aggressive and successful exploration efforts.
MPCL made a paradigm shift in 2013 and chalked out a ‘Three Years Exploration and Drilling Plan’ coupled with extensive 3D seismic data acquisition plans to explore and exploit the full potential of its existing portfolios. The plan included the acquisition of 3D seismic data in Mari D&PL, Sujawal and Ghauri blocks and drilling of 5 wells in 2014 and 10 wells (including appraisal and JV operated wells) in 2015-16.
During the financial year 2016-17, MPCL drilled 8 wells in its operated and non-operated blocks that included five exploration, two appraisal and one development well that added 123 BCF of recoverable reserves with Reserve Replacement Ratio (RRR) of ~ 45 % as compared to 25% or less in the previous years. However, the reserves addition and RRR are subject to confirmation after analysing the dynamic data collected during production. New hydrocarbon discoveries included Shahbaz-1 and Shaheen-1 in Mari D&PL, Aqeeq-1 in Sujawal Block and Bashar ST-1 in non-operated Hala Block. Zurghun South-3 (ZS-3), a challenging well in Balochistan, was drilled as a slant/ horizontal well to optimally drain the Dunghan tight gas reservoir, which produced 15.1 MMSCFD gas during testing as compared to ~3.5 MMSCFD gas from a vertical ZS-2 well at the same reservoir level. In addition, Bhitai-2&3 appraisal wells were drilled successfully with significant upside potential and completed as gas producers. An overall upward trajectory in number of wells as well as reserves is being maintained.
Continued analysis of Mari 3D seismic data provided new insights into subsurface geology with new opportunities for exploration, appraisal and development in the lease area. The structural potential at Lower Goru B sand and SUL/SML limestone levels is being explored through extensive drilling like Shahbaz-1, Shaheen-1, Bhitai-2&3, Tipu-1 and the planned upcoming wells. Specialized G&G studies are in progress to evaluate the unconventional (tight gas potential) and sequence stratigraphic potential in the Mari D&PL.
After acquiring operatorship of Bannu West Block, MPCL lost no time in pursuing fast track exploration activities and has completed 1st year work commitment within only three months, which include geological fieldwork followed by reprocessing of ~425 L. Km 2D seismic lines and its interpretation. Currently, we are designing the acquisition of about 750 sq.km 3D seismic data to firm up prospects and place exploration well on fast track basis, by November/December 2018.
To strengthen/innovate the existing exploration workflows, advance quantitative interpretation techniques have been embedded, to further de-risk the exploration prospects. In-house pre-stack inversion has been carried out in Mari D&PL and Sujawal Block, to assess the risk associated with the reservoirs.
To attain a sustainable future growth and to arrest the reserve depletion trend, a ‘Five Year Exploration Plan’ has been chalked out, with an aspiration of acquiring new blocks/ working interests at home and abroad. Acquisition of blocks through farming-in has been adopted as an immediate course of action in the event that bidding round that hasn’t been held since 2013 gets further delayed. Meanwhile, search for acquiring international and local exploration opportunities for resource addition is in progress. MPCL has also carried out extensive evaluation and due-diligence on blocks, for forthcoming bidding round and identified joint bidding options. High ranked blocks have been recommended for the farm-in possibility with different local and international E&P companies.
Instead of waiting indefinitely, for bidding round for new exploration licences/blocks, the Company is using alternate strategies to increase the exploration acreage. During the year, the Company acquired working interests in Bannu West and Shah Bandar from Tullow Pakistan and PPL, respectively. Negotiations for farm-in/ acquisition of working interests in several other prospective blocks of different E&P companies are in the final stages.