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Wed 6 Jun 2007 12:29 AM

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Kuwait JV wins Pakistan gas licence

Pakistan grants oil and gas exploration licence to Kuwait Energy Company and local firm.

Pakistan on Tuesday granted an oil and gas exploration licence to a joint venture of a local firm and Kuwait Energy Company for an offshore block in southern Sindh province, an official statement said.

The Kunri block lies in the four districts of Sindh and covers area of 2,486 sq. km (960 sq mile).

"The joint venture intends to make an investment of over $16.05 million," the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said in a statement.

The local firm, New Horizon Exploration and Production Limited, has 40 % working interest in the venture. Kuwait Energy Company is a independent firm that is active in Egypt, Oman, Yemen, Indonesia, Syria and Russia, the Pakistani statement said.

Pakistan's liberal exploration policy has attracted interest from local as well as foreign firms in recent years, making oil and gas one of the largest investment areas.

The government has set a target of drilling 100 exploration wells each year, compared with an average of 60 a year previously.

However, most offshore wells drilled by Pakistani and foreign firms have turned out dry.

Pakistan imports 85 % of its energy needs, including over $6.5 billion worth of oil a year, and aims to increase domestic oil production from about 65,000 barrels per day.

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