PPL’s Shale Gas Session draws enthusiastic response from international E&P players

ISLAMABAD, NOVEMBER 21, 2011: Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) hosted a Special Session on ‘Exploiting Shale Gas in Pakistan’ ahead of the SPE-PAPG Annual Technical Conference 2011 on November 21at the Islamabad Serena Hotel. The session, a first of its kind in the country, drew high-level participation from government representatives and management and technical staff of leading local and international Exploration and Production (E&P) companies, including overseas delegates.

Welcoming the participants, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer PPL Asim Murtaza Khan highlighted the significance of the session in not only bringing shale gas exploration on the country’s E&P map but also encouraging participation by leading international E&P players in the dialogue around the policy and fiscal framework necessary for a breakthrough in this direction.

Khan acknowledged that the session was the brainchild of Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain and could not have been possible without his personal involvement and stake and the facilitation provided by his ministry. He hoped that the session would provide a platform for collective thinking and knowledge sharing around the issue and fuel further strategic interest and engagement by the international E&P community in exploiting shale gas resources in the country to meet future energy needs in the face of depleting conventional reservoirs.

Secretary Petroleum Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion, reiterating the government’s resolve to open new E&P opportunities in line with the global shift towards exploration of unconventional gas reservoirs and ensure an enabling business environment to attract international expertise and investment. “The government looks forward to the recommendation emerging from the session today which will be incorporated into the country’s E&P policy. ” The primary recommendation of the session is to develop a framework to incentivize and kick start pilot projects and pricing and fiscal terms under a separate regime.

Chaudhry expressed his gratitude to the Government of Poland for its proactive role in strengthening bilateral ties with Pakistan, particularly with respect to the E&P sector, evident by the presence of Polish Ambassador Andrzeg Ananicz at the seminar. He also acknowledged the efforts of the Pakistan Embassy in Warsaw in this regard.

Similarly, Chaudhry lauded PPL’s efforts in serving as the conduit for drawing local and international attention to prospects for shale gas exploration in the country and organizing the session to forge a way forward for government and industry. “It is initiatives such as these through which local E&P companies can serve as the eyes and ears of the ministry, helping us move forward with our ambitious agenda. ”

Local and foreign delegates presented several papers during a dedicated segment of the session chaired by Peter Seitinger, General Manager, OMV (Pakistan) Exploration Gmbh. These included Methodology and Technology for Prospecting Unconventional Plays, especially Shale Gas, in Pakistan by PPL’s General Manager Exploration Moin Raza Khan and Senior Manager Dr. Nadeem Ahmad, Lessons Learned: Shale Gas Exploitation in Poland by Marcin Jóźwaik of PGNiG Technologie Sp. zo.o, Shale Gas Exploitation in North America and its Replication in Pakistan by Robert Kuchinski, Wireline Business Development Manager, Weatherford, Middle East and North Africa. A roundtable was also held on the Technical, Commercial and Fiscal Strategies to Promote Shale Gas Exploitation in Pakistan with Paolo Giraudi, Managing Director, Eni Pakistan Limited in the chair.

At the close of the conference, Khan thanked the government for its efforts in facilitating the session and the chairs and foreign delegates for sharing their expertise with the local audience. He also expressed his gratitude to Polish Ambassador Dr. Ananicz for being present at the session and adding that he looked forward to enhancing business linkages between Pakistan and Poland through PGNiG, a PPL joint venture partner, in exploiting unconventional reserves in Pakistan.

“Going by the valuable ideas exchanged and the enthusiastic response of key players, including government and international E&P companies, I am led to conclude that this session has indeed been successful in spotlighting prospects for shale gas exploration and reiterating foreign interest in Pakistan’s E&P sector. ”

Shale gas reservoirs are spread across the globe in more than 140 sedimentary basins and 600 plays, with five of these basins located in Poland alone. Preliminary estimates suggest 65 Tcf of shale gas resources within the country’s accessible basins and regions.