International companies submitted bids on 8 September for petroleum exploration rights in four concession areas. The successful applicants will have a three years to complete their exploration work.

Four companies bid for the rights to block 2769-2 (Sadiqabad), which is located between the Mari gas field and East Badin block B, where Ireland’s Tullow Oil recently successfully tested gas (MEED 2:9:94). They are the local/US Union Texas Pakistan (UTP), the US’ Unical, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) and a joint venture of the Oil & Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) and the local Zaver. The highest bidder was UTP with $8.5 million. PPL, the original applicant, bid $5.5 million, and now has 30 days to match UTP’s offer.

The OGDC and Zaver partnership also bid for the rights to block 2768- 3 (block 22), for which the only other applicant was Pakistan Exploration. OGDC is the original and sole applicant for block 3070-1 (Zindapir). The fourth block under consideration is 2769-1 (Qadirpur West). Exploration rights for block 2967-1 (Bolan) are also to be granted, although industry sources say they do not expect it to generate much interest.