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According to official data, the initial production from the proposed gas processing plant will be around 15 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), providing a great boost to the national economy. "There are proven gas reserves from two wells while three others are being drilled," an official told The Express Tribune.
Experts predict the possibility of oil being found in the same lease block and the OGDCL may soon give the nation good news in this regard. Although there is little information about the Jhal Magsi gas field in the public domain, sources say the reserves may be larger than a number of existing fields in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakthunkhwa.
Sources said that the government is playing down the Jhal Magsi discovery for political reasons. Independent economists hope that Jhal Magsi reserves will help bridge the domestic demand and supply gap. The local industry, already reeling under the effects of excessive power outages, will also get some benefit.
There are also bright chances of finding oil and gas reserves in the Bolan block, particularly in a hilly track near Dhaddar.
Foreign firms are engaged in exploring oil and gas in this part of Balochistan. The federal government is providing adequate security to firms exploring oil and gas in this block.
The OGDCL and other companies are facing difficulties in carrying out oil and gas exploration in Marri and Bugti tribal territories for political reasons as local tribesmen are demanding full control over their resources.
Almost all companies exploring oil and gas in the Marri and Bugti regions had stopped working after attacks on their officials by Baloch militants.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2010.