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PEL signs joint venture with Moroccan firm

02 July, 2007

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ISLAMABAD: Petroleum Exploration (Pvt) Limited (PEL) has become the first-ever Pakistani oil and gas company to undertake exploration and production in North Africa.

It has signed petroleum agreements and association contract for exploration of hydrocarbons in three blocks called Haha-1, Haha-2 and Haha-3 with an area of 4,919 Sq Km, in the Kingdom of Morocco in joint venture with ONHYM, the Moroccan state oil & gas company.

PEL holds 75 percent working interests and is the operator while its joint venture partner retains 25 percent stakes. PEL is aggressively engaged in oil and gas search in Sindh. The company has initiated seismic survey through Bureau of Geophysical Prospecting China (BGP International), a Chinese firm in Hamza-block-22.

Hamza block is operated by PEL, and its partners included Pakistan Petroleum Ltd PPL, Government Holdings Limited and Pyramid International Inc, a Canadian oil & gas exploration and production company. The joint venture has already drilled 7 exploration and appraisal wells in the block, which confirmed hydrocarbon presence. It has invested $30 million in the block.

PEL has also tasked BGP to carry out seismic acquisition in its Badar gas field concession. Its operators included Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDCL), Spud Energy of Australia and Sherritt of Canada. Badar field is currently producing 16 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from a single well. PEL is planning to increase production from this field by drilling more wells. Joint venture $21 million has been invested in Badar gas field.

PEL has also hired M/s SPA to conduct seismic survey in other PEL's operated blocks. These included Salam, Mirpur Mathelo, Kandra, Badin North and Badin South. Seismic surveys in Salam and Mirpur Mathelo blocks have been completed. Joint venture partners in Salam, Badin North & Badin South are Frontier Holdings Ltd, Canada and PEL. In Kandra and Mirpur Mathelo Blocks, Government Holding (Pvt) Limited is partner with PEL and Frontier Holdings Limited.

PEL is presently producing 35 MMCFD gas from two of its concession areas, which counts about one percent of total production.

PEL is first private sector Pakistani company venturing for the offshore exploration. It has been awarded 3 offshore blocks in the exclusive economic zone in ultra deep waters in Arabian Sea.

PEL has an aggressive drilling programme of drilling 31 exploration and development wells in the next three years. PEL CEO Zaheeruddin, is appreciative of the Ministry of Petroleum role in making exploration and production activities easy. He praises his joint venture partners Frontier Holdings Ltd (Canada), Spud (Australia), Sherrit International (Canada), Pyramid Energy International Inc (Canada), OGDCL, PPL, Mari Gas, Government Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and OGI.

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