Hopes for the discovery of large reserves of oil and gas off Karachi coast faded after it was officially announced on Saturday that the much-celebrated offshore drilling in Kekra-1 had been stopped because no reserves were found. The operators of the well have decided to plug it in the coming days.
Around 17 attempts have been made in the past, but all remained unsuccessful despite encouraging data from each drilling. Talking to a private news channel, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar announced that the offshore drilling in Kekra-1 did not yield desired results.
Mainly due to political hype, Pakistanis were exceptionally hopeful about finding large oil and gas reserves in the country’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea. Kekra-1 well at Indus G-Block is located around 280 kilometers southwest of Karachi coast.
A senior official of the petroleum division said that after drilling more than 5,500 metres reserves were not found. Therefore, he added, it had been decided to plug the well and abandon the project.
Around $100 million has been invested in the project, but the officials of the petroleum division maintain that the data received from the drilling and other seismic studies of the well will be useful for future exploration activities in the region.
At the same time, the officials say, oil and gas E&P is described as a ‘high risk- high reward’ business and the failures should not be taken as a loss. “India found offshore reserves from its ‘Bombay High well’ after 40 attempts,” they add.
The drilling was initiated around four months back by ENI, an Italian oil and gas exploration, and production (E&P) giant, which is the operator of Kekra-1.
The other four partners of the well were ExxonMobil of the US — one of the world’s largest oil and gas firms — Pakistan Petroleum Limited and the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).
“Based on previous data the prospects were high and at the start of drilling the chances of success were between 13 and 15 percent, which is fairly good,” OGDCL spokesman Ahmed Lak said, adding, “Among the highest prospects of finding the hydrocarbon reserve is 20 per cent, therefore, our record was good enough to proceed with drilling.”