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Pakistan plans to auction 20 onshore oil, gas blocks by December end

Pakistan plans to auction 20 onshore blocks by the end of December 2016 as it aims to increase crude and gas production and reduce its oil import bill, an official from the oil ministry said Tuesday.

"We are waiting for the Ministry of Defense's approval. Following that, the government would announce the date of auction, which is likely to be held by December," the official said.

The Pakistan government sold 50 blocks via auction in 2014. Most of the interest then came from domestic companies such as Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Oil and Gas Development Co., and Pakistan Oilfields Limited.

The country's gas production has been stagnant around 4.1 Bcf/day for more than a decade.

Demand is estimated at 6.2 Bcf/d in the summer and 6.8 Bcf/d in the winter.

The shortfall is expected to cross 3 Bcf/d in the future.

Pakistan has 27 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves, of which only 3% have been explored, according to government estimates.

The country also has an estimated 280 Tcf of natural gas reserves, of which only 42% has been exploited so far.

Time: 2016-7-27 Click: 14
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