The government on Monday signed one exploration license and petroleum concession agreement with Tallahassee Resources Inc to explore Karak north block located in District Karak,

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Monday.

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the signing ceremony. The agreement was signed by Abid Saeed, Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources, Saeedullah Shah, Director General Petroleum Concessions, Wasim Ahmad of Tallahassee and Director from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.

Federal Minister for Petroleum speaking on the occasion said that the total area of aforesaid block is 99.14 Sq. Km and minimum firm work commitment is US $ 3.07 million.

Apart from minimum work commitment, company is obligated to spend a minimum of US $ 30,000/year in the block on social welfare schemes. He also directed the Director General Petroleum Concessions to facilitate E & P Companies to expedite the exploration process to boost the oil and gas production.

The ministry after taking all provinces on board in finalizing Model

Petroleum Concession Agreement (MPCA) and Model Exploration Licence (MPCA), awarded 50 blocks on provisional basis to nine E & P companies on 21.01.2014. Out of which 21 blocks are falling in Balochistan, 15 in Punjab, 6 in Sindh and 07 blocks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and 01 in FATA. The ministry has already signed (43) ELs and PCAs in this year.

The government executed one more Petroleum Concession Agreements (PCA)

and Exploration Licence (EL) over Block No. 3370-15(Karak North) withTallahassee Resources Inc (Tallahassee).M/s Tallahassee is an E&P company based out of Calgary, Canada, established since 2007.

It has its core assets with stake in 100 plus producing wells in British

Columbia and Alberta, Canada. According to company, they are primarily focused on conventional & Montney shale gas play in British Columbia and conventional light oil & Duverney shale play development in Alberta.

Moreover, it has its international exploration plans in Pakistan with a

current focus on light oil development in Kohat/Potwar belt with a recent acquisition of Karak k. It intends to expand in the near future into Pakistan's tight gas and shale oil development by utilizing its existing technical expertise and resources of North American assets.

The importance of the domestic petroleum industry to the economy of

Pakistan is a core issue of national security, national self reliance and as a major source of government revenue. Domestic gas production and supply presently fails to meet the demand of domestic users, the industrial sector and power generation.

Therefore, present government is giving high priority to develop

indigenous hydrocarbon resources to minimize the demand and supply gap.

Due to the untiring efforts of ministry and especially by the DGPC and his team and keen interest generated by the investment friendly and attractive policies, since taking over by the current government 120 numbers of wells have been spudded and 30 discoveries have been made so far.

The oil production in the country has crossed 98,980 bbl per day of oil on 28.05.2014, which is the highest oil production level achieved so far.