ISLAMABAD:

Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has launched efforts to explore tight gas under the new Tight Gas Policy 2024 by targeting to drill up to 80 wells in the country.

OGDCL on Monday announced its first discovery of tight gas in Sindh under the new policy. The giant oil and gas explorer is taking a lead role in accelerating the exploration of tight gas reserves to overcome gas crisis in the country.

Earlier, the caretaker government approved the first tight gas policy that offers incentives to oil and gas exploration companies with the objective of attracting at least $20 billion in investment to search for the untapped tight gas reserves of 35 to 70 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

OGDCL, the 100% operator of Nur development and production lease, has discovered tight gas in exploratory well Nur West-1, located in Sujawal district in Sindh. The well was drilled and tested using in-house expertise. It was drilled down to the depth of 2,975 metres. Due to its low permeability in the Lower Goru Formation, hydraulic fracturing was carried out to gauge the existing tight gas potential.

Post-fracturing, tests indicated a flow rate of 1.24 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas with 150 pounds per square inch (psi) wellhead flow pressure.

The certification of tight gas and its reserves is in progress in light of the Tight Gas Policy 2024. The discovery in Nur West-1 is the result of an aggressive strategy adopted by the company, which has opened a new avenue and will add to hydrocarbon reserves of the company and the country.

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The results of Nur West-1 have encouraged OGDCL to engage in further drilling/fracturing to exploit the tight gas resources.

The company has planned to drill 15 wells in the next 24 months for hydraulic fracturing through re-entry or the testing of new wells with resource potential of approximately 45 billion standard cubic feet (bscf), which will be added to its reserves portfolio subject to a positive evaluation.

These 15 wells are mainly in concessions operated by OGDCL in the districts of Hyderabad, Khairpur, Sukkur, Sanghar, Thatta, Nawabshah and Tando Allah Yar in Sindh province.

Further evaluation is in progress regarding the potential of tight gas in the Middle and Upper Indus Basin.

OGDCL has already launched a study with the help of a third party to identify and validate the tight gas potential in 18 blocks in the Indus Basin. Approximately 70 to 80 wells have been identified for evaluation.

Based on the third-party study, the shortlisted tight gas containing areas will be selected for re-entry among the existing wells or drilling new wells (vertical/laterals) followed by hydraulic fracturing to exploit these resources.

OGDCL is also planning to explore and develop tight gas resources on a turnkey basis to add more hydrocarbons to its reserves portfolio. This project has been advertised in the international media, which has evoked keen interest from the reputed international oil and gas service providers.

The optimisation and economical recovery of hydrocarbon deposits after drilling/fracturing from the potential unconventional reservoirs will aid the national economy and generate new employment opportunities for the locals.

Advance technology (hydraulic fracturing) with approximately 25,000-30,000 HHP and allied equipment is required to tap the unconventional hydrocarbon reserves in an efficient way for which major companies have been approached to ensure the provision of requisite equipment and technology on a fast track.

In an effort to ramp up the exploration and extraction of tight gas, the caretaker government unveiled an extensive policy, delineating the crucial lease terms, price incentives and operational protocols.

Dubbed the “Tight Gas (Exploration & Production) Policy 2024,” it will foster investment, technological progress and the effective utilisation of tight gas deposits.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2024.

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