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Drilling for oil and gas begins near Karachi.

A group of multinational companies have started offshore drilling at a distance of 230 kilometers from Karachi for exploration of oil and gas, ARY News reported on Monday.

A major drilling ship, “Mother of All Rigs” along with three supply vessels started the drilling last night at the site at 9:00 PM. The preliminary report of the drilling has been sent to the concerned companies.

The companies are drilling Kekra-1 well in Indus-G block, which is located some 280 kilometres away from the Karachi coast.

They would drill around 5,800 meters deep from the sea level and are targeting to complete the spud in the next 60 days, sources said.

Eni Pakistan is the operator of the block, while, Exploration and Production Pakistan BV (EEPP) is drilling the well. Besides, Pakistan state-owned Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) are part of the joint venture. Each of the four firms have a 25% participating interest in the block, officials said.

Advisor for Shipping and Ports Mehmood Molvi has said that along with Mother Rig ship, three supply vessels and two helicopters are also involved in the drilling. The supply vessells will dispose off the sand and other dug material in the sea.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi on his Twitter handle announced arrival of the supply vessels transporting equipment to “Mother of All Rigs” docked 230km off the Karachi coast for exploration of oil and gas.

Last month, Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest oil and gas company, had announced that it will reinvest in Pakistani market after a gap of nearly three decades.

A company’s delegation called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House and informed him of projects.

Pakistan, after a gap of nine years, begins offshore drilling to find estimated huge oil and gas deposits in ultra-deep waters at an estimated cost of over $100 million.

“Eni Pakistan has estimated nine trillion cubic feet gas deposits,” an official said, adding “ExxonMobil expects oil deposits there.”

The well is being drilled almost after a gap of nine years, as the last exploratory well in offshore area was drilled in January 2010.

Some of the surveyors find the block ‘Indus-G’ similar to Indian offshore Bombay High oilfields, which produce 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, while some define it like wells producing hydrocarbons in the oil and gas rich country, Kuwait in the Gulf.

Pakistan meets around 15-20% of its energy needs through local oil and gas exploration and production, while the rest is met through expensive imports.

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