New zone to be set up for hydrocarbon drilling along Afghan border

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government is set to establish a ‘Frontier Zone’ for exploration of hydrocarbon energy sources in the regions along the border with Afghanistan.
According to a report published by The News on Monday, the zone is likely to be part of an amended Petroleum Policy 2012. The policy will be presented for the approval at the meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), which is scheduled to be held today.
The Frontier Zone will cover the areas of Kharan, Pishin and former frontier regions, touted as having “tremendous potential of hydrocarbons estimated to be over 20 trillion cubic feet (TCF)”, the report said. The areas have not been explored for oil and gas so far.
The well-head price for the new zone will be finalised after the CCI approval of the new policy. The price is likely to be higher than the existing prices for onshore drilling.
Presently, according to The News, the well-head price for onshore drilling falls in the range of $4-6.6 per barrel. However, for the new zone it has been proposed at $7 per barrel.
A senior official of the Petroleum Division told The News that, “a fresh zone for high risk frontier regions will be set up with better returns, offering good prospects of higher hydrocarbons find and production”.
“Under the existing policy, there were three zones for onshore exploration, defined on the basis of risk and investment opportunities. They covered Balochistan, Punjab and Lower Indus areas,” he explained.

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