Pakistan resumes crude oil export after a decade From Sajjad Hussain

Written by PTI | Islamabad | Updated: Aug 24 2014, 21:18pm hrs
After a gap of 10 years, Pakistan has resumed export of crude oil with the output touching an all-time high, a media report said today.

The output in June reached highest at 98,000 barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 22 per cent from last year, while around 70,518 tonnes of ultra-light crude oil known as condensate has been exported in the last two months, as per Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The export value is stated at USD 60.7 million (Rs 5.9 billion).

At least one ship of 32,000-tonne capacity is leaving the port every month, which is expected to rise because the output of condensate has gradually increased over the years, the Express Tribune reported.

Three multinational firms, United Energy Pakistan, which took over the assets of BP in the country, OMV and MOL are mostly involved in the exports of the petroleum crude which is coming from different fields in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Export of crude started after the discovery of the Badin Gas field along with the by-produce condensate in the 1990s.

The refineries initially didn't have the capability to process the condensate but when Attock and Pak Arab refineries started consuming most of the domestic supply, government restricted exports in 2004.

The average oil production in Pakistan jumped 13 per cent to 86,000 bpd in fiscal year 2013-14 compared to the previous year.

The oil output even reached an all-time high of 98,000 bpd by the end of June 2014.

Around 60,000-65,000 bpd of oil is consumed by local refineries, leaving a surplus of 24,000-25,000 bpd for export, the officials said.

A major chunk of the increase in oil output came from the Tal block, which saw average oil production rise 63 per cent to 17,000 bpd.

The block contributes 20 per cent of the total oil produced in Pakistan.

Industry officials believe that Pakistan's crude oil output is expected to increase to 130,000 bpd in a year or two, a sharp rise from the stagnant 66,000 bpd seen previously.

While there remains uncertainty over the exact size of oil reserves in the absence of any broad geological survey, Pakistan has estimated recoverable reserves at 27 million barrels.