One of the major challenges for an Exploration and Production company is to continually replace, and ideally enhance, its reserves. As the core area of the company, Exploration carries out petroleum prospectivity evaluations of sedimentary basins through Geological and Geophysical (G&G) surveys to determine potential of hydrocarbons for the purpose of submitting applications and bids for exploration licenses or scoping farm-in opportunities.

Vibrators on seismic line at Sui Gas Field Balochistan

On completion of technical, commercial and risk assessments, favourable areas are identified and recommendations made for necessary approvals from the management and government, where applicable, prior to submitting applications or farm-in proposals.

After acquiring the exploration licence or farm-in agreement the department engages in a series of activities and chalks out a comprehensive work programme, including G&G surveys and 2D or 3D seismic data acquisition.

Generally, interpretation of seismic data is conducted in-house while specialized interpretation is contracted out under close supervision of the department to ensure accuracy. Based on integrated mapping, gravity and basin modelling studies, leads and prospects are identified and evaluated on the basis of pre-drill reserves estimation and risk analysis. The leads and prospects are then ranked and the highest selected for drilling in order of priority in consultation with the Reservoir Engineering and Business Development departments.

Subsequent to detailed evaluation, Exploration provides well locations and prognosis to Drilling Operations to make the necessary arrangements for drilling exploratory wells, a process closely monitored by the department.

Among the department's other responsibilities is timely completion of work commitments in exploration blocks in close coordination with all internal and external stakeholders, including joint venture partners and government agencies and securing additional reserves at the company's producing assets through the identification of new hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir horizons.