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First shale gas & oil well: Over 2,487- meter drilling carried out so far


Feb 12, 2020: Brisk drilling was in progress at the first shale gas and oil well near Hyderabad city of the Sindh province to acquire geological and engineering data for further planning of the pilot project. “The drilling, started on December 14, 2019 at the Shale gas well, KUC-01 (Kunar Unconventional-1), is in progress. As of January 30, 2020 the well was drilled to depth of 2,487 meters that will be taken to 3,910 meters in Chiltan formation,” according to an official document available with APP. Currently, the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and United Energy Petroleum Limited (UEPL) are undertaking shale gas & oil exploration projects in Sindh Province. A study, completed in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development in 2015, had identified massive deposits of shale gas and oil, which needed further evaluation to determine the cost of extraction. According to the EIA Shale Gas Assessment Report 2015 (USA); Pakistan has around 105 Trillion Cubic Feet of recoverable shale gas and 9.1 Billion Barrels of recoverable shale oil resources. The successful exploitation of shale gas could provide Pakistan with a sustainable supply of natural gas and oil (against EIA estimated recoverable gas resources), the OGDCL observed before initiating the drilling work. Pakistan’s estimated natural gas demand stood at about 7-8 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD), out of which less than 4 BCFD was being produced locally. “There is 50 percent of gas shortfall in the energy mix needs of the country.” The OGDCL had clarified that the identified resources were not booked as “reserves” and needed to be further rationalized through additional technical information regarding the Shale Reservoir. The company had conducted Shale Gas Study through M/s Weatherford, USA, using available data including petrophysical, geological, geophysical, geochemical, geomechanical and reservoir of over 117 wells were drilled across the Indus Basin. The study helped in identifying priority areas and provided geo-modeling, well design for pilot vertical and horizontal sections along with ‘frac design’, simulated production profile and tentative cost estimates. In light of the study, the OGDCL started to drill its first ever-dedicated Shale Gas Well, KUC-01 mainly to prove the concept that the Sembar Shales could also be exploited as Hydrocarbon Reservoir and Producer.