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Tullow Oil winding up Pakistan operations?




  • Ireland based oil/gas Exploration and Production (E&P) company Tullow Oil Plc is to wind up its Pakistan operations, it is learnt. According to sources in the Petroleum Ministry, in March 2012 the company took the decision to commence a process to sell its Asian assets to focus on its core African and Atlantic margin strategy. 

    British Petroleum (BP) and Malaysian-based firm Petronas have already wrapped up their operations in Pakistan. Tullow Oil is the third foreign firm seeking to liquidate its assets and leave the country. Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) had shown interest in acquiring the assets of Tullow in Pakistan and Bangladesh but later it gave up on its plan as Tullow sold its Bangladesh assets to a Singapore-based company, Kris Energy. 

    A PPL official said the state-owned company is no more interested in Tullow Oil”s remaining assets. In December 2012, after receiving formal approval from the federal government, PPL appointed consultants to evaluate Tullow Oil”s assets in Pakistan and Bangladesh to determine hydrocarbon potential and the possible advantage of each block. 

    Tullow has been active in Pakistan since 1991 and has exploration, development and production interests across seven licences covering 13,171 sq kms. Early in 2010, Tullow successfully completed the Shekhan-1 exploration well encountering 45 metres of net gas pay. 

    In November 2008, the operatorship of the Kohat exploration licence was transferred to Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, significantly reducing Tullow”s in-country overheads with focus now on the group”s existing high-impact exploration potential. Tullow E&P assets portfolio comprises the following producing/exploratory assets: Block 9 (Bangora filed) 30 percent, block 3370-13( Bannu West); North Waziristan Agency, Bannu, Hangu, Kurram Agency 40 percent, block 28; District, Kohlu, Sibbi, Hernai, Loralai, Barkhan 95 percent, block 2969-7 (Kalchas); District, Dera Bugti, Rajapur, Kohlu, 30 percent, block 3371-10 (Kohat); District Kohat, Hangu, Peshawar, Orakzai Agency (Shekhan field) 40 percent and block 2968-3 (Kohlu); District Kohlu, Dera Bugti and Barkhan. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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