The UK’s LASMO has announced that it has signed three new licences to explore for oil and gas. The licences cover the Bela North block and the largely offshore Bela South block in the south-western province of Baluchistan, and the Kirthar West block in the southern province of Sind.

Under the agreements, signed on 15 January, LASMO will carry out exploration activities over a period of three years. Joe Darby, chief executive of LASMO, says that the company will review existing seismic studies in the first year and then carry out new studies in the second year. The siting of exploration wells will be decided in the third year.

LASMO, through its locally-based subsidiary LASMO Pakistan Oil already operates the Kadanwari gas field, from which the company began production in 1995. It also has an existing exploration licence at Kirthar.

The company is looking to expand activities in Pakistan and has prepared a feasibility study, in conjunction with the UK’s National Power, on the development of an integrated project to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). Phase one of the feasibility study has already been presented to the government. LASMO expects to present the second part of the study by the end of February. LASMO says it would be able to contribute experience gained working on LNG projects in Indonesia (MEED 5:4:96).