Karachi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s dream of the cash-strapped country becoming self-sufficient in oil has been dashed after no reserves were discovered in the Arabian Sea off the Karachi coast, media reports said Sunday.
The drilling work at Kekra-1 well in deep sea near Karachi has been stopped after no oil or gas reservoir could be found, according to Special Assistant to Prime Minister Khan on Petroleum Nadeem Babar. Pakistan was hopeful of finding large oil and gas reserves in its territorial waters in the Arabian Sea. US oil giant Exxon Mobil, Italy’s ENI and a couple other companies were involved in drilling an ultra-deep oil well. Babar told Geo News that the process of drilling up to more than 5,500 metres was completed on Kekra-1 (Indus G-Block) off Karachi coast.
Babar said the office of DG Petroleum Conce-ssions has been apprised of the results of drilling.
He said that the cost of drilling project, which has now been abandoned, remained over $100 million. In March, Prime Minister Khan had said Pakistan would not need to import oil after reserves were found near Karachi coast.
“We are hopeful of finding large reserves of gas and oil in the sea near Karachi. The nation should pray for this and I will soon share good news regarding this,” Khan had said. “God willing the reserves will be so large that we will not need to import any oil,” he said.
Khan said he believes that if big oil reserves are discovered, most of Pakistan’s economic problems will be addressed and then there will be no stopping in the country’s progress.
Around four months ago, Italian firm ENI, the operator of the Kekra-1 offshore block, started drilling in a joint venture with US firm ExxonMobil and the Pakistan state-owned Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL)....