LAHORE - Though there is a dire need to accelerate the exploration programme to fill energy shortfall, the E&P companies are likely to miss annual drilling target of 76 wells in FY12, as only 66 wells have been explored so far. This is the third consecutive year that these companies have missed their annual drilling targets, energy experts said. As far as discoveries are concerned, FY12 remained largely uneventful. Though, 6 discoveries have been made in FY12 so far as against 4 last year, but all failed to create excitement amongst the investors on account of subdued discovery size, said Nauman Khan, an energy expert. He said that the major excitement came from augmented discovery in Makori East while subdued flows from the biggest story of the year Zin field disappointed the investors. Experts are hopeful on E&P sector on account of materialization of additional flows in FY13 which will dilute the impact of sharp decline in international oil prices.As per Pakistan Petroleum Information Service, E&P sector’s Exploration and Development activity in FY12 picked up as compared to FY11 but compares unfavorably with preceding five years (FY06-10). The sector has so far in FY12 drilled 50 wells against a target of 76 wells, up from 47 wells drilled in FY11 against a target of 80 wells. Further, bifurcation of the number reveals that sector continued to focus on maximizing the yield from its existing reservoir rather than drilling for new reserves. Besides circular debt, experts believe heightened security perception particularly in KP and Balochistan are also the major reasons behind this trend that is limiting the regions available to the sector. In FY11 and FY10, the sector achieved 59% and 69% of drilling targets. Amongst the listed sector, OGDC the largest E&P company in Pakistan so far drilled only 2 new exploratory (target 13) well during the year while it continued its focus on its existing fields. The company drilled 12 development well as against the target of 15 wells. Thus so far in FY12, The Company has drilled total 14 wells against a target of 27 wells. 

Furthermore, the company made only 1 discovery during the year that is Zin which disappointed the investors because of its low discovery size while another well Jabbi is in testing phase. Despite being in the Kohat region, experts attach low probability of discovery from Jabbi well. PPL on the other hand has so far spudded 3 wells against a target of 4 while POL has drilled 1 exploratory well, Sadrial, which is in drilling phase but they attach low probability of any meaningful success from the well.