Saturday, February 24, 2024

Oil and Gas Resources of Pakistan

View of Coastal Highway, through Hingol National Park Pakistan is full of natural resources. This piece of land has all four weathers, which provide the suitability to cultivate all major crops throughout the year at different locations. In most parts of our country, the soil is very fertile; it can be used to cultivating crops or grow forest reserves. Oil and natural gas resources are available is abundance. At present while the world has almost consumed their oil and gas resources, we have not even explored our resources of oil and natural gas. There are enormous quantity oil and gas reserves in Pakistan which are still unexplored, probably deliberately neglected by the government of Pakistan, because our own friends (self proclaimed) do not want us (actually, do not allow us) to explore our treasures, buried under our feet. Well, this is a topic of another discussion. Let’s read an article, published in The Dawn, on September 11, 2011:-

“Clear as Mud
Mud Volcano One of the earth’s most interesting natural phenomena, erupting abruptly and powerfully throwing tons of muddy brackish water out. Mud Volcanoes are a mixture of water, mud, gases, a few elements, some traces of hydrocrates, oil and some heat energy. They have a direct link to gas and oil fields and are excellent indicators to the presence of natural recourses.

Also known as Sedimentary Volcanoes or Gas-Oil Volcanoes, these are not very famous, nor as devastating in action as Magmatic Volcanoes, but mud volcanoes have existed since the very beginning even though their actual discoveries and studies date only a few centuries.

More than 700 mud volcanoes have been reported around the world so far, and 18 of these mud volcanoes are located in Baluchistan.

The first surviving account of their existence is by Major Frederick John Goldsmid (Major-General in British Army and East India Company), who wrote a diary of his travels from Karachi to Gwadar in 1862, where he writes about the bubbling springs near Ras Koocheri and mud volcanoes in Ormara. There are two known groups of mud volcanoes in Baluchistan, Chandargup and Jabul Ghurab (local language words). Out of 18 mud volcanoes are located near Sapat Post in Hingol National Park (HNP) and the remaining 11 between Kutch and Gwadar.

While conducting wildlife surveys in Babbro Kaur and Laksar Plains in the northern HNP during February 2007, a team of five members including two wildlife watchers from Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department came across strange stories from local residents about occasional blasts followed by fire and smoke in a mud mountain known as Kundigo Kurt. The last blast was heard by locals about six moths ago, not far from Babbro Kaur and Laksar Plains.

Access to the Kundigo Kurt Mountain is not easy as it lies in a mountain range where only professional hikers dare to venture. One route is from Uthal, in Lasbela District or Jhau on the RCD Highway leading to Khuzdar, branching off at Dhalli Hinj village following a direct track to Kukree Bhent along the Ara River. The other is from Traanch valley which is even more difficult especially its part known as Dozakh (Hell). Kukree Bhent is accessible on a four wheel drive and takes about two and half hours from Jhau on RCD Highway. From Kukree Bhent onward, an eight-hour camel ride along Ara Kaur upto Pishi Bhent followed by a four-hour walk by foot to reach the base of the Kundigo Kurt Mountain in the east of Ara Kaur. It takes another two hours from the base of Kundigo Kurt Mountain to reach the top following a difficult and risky track.

Mud Volcano erupting After a tiresome journey of about 12 hours in camel back and by foot, we reached the base of the mountain in the evening and spent the night there. The next morning began the climb to the mountain top through various gullies and depressions. We reached the top by midday and found seven magnificent and active mud volcanoes (150m x 70m) at 460m above sea level. We took photographs, GPS coordinates and measurements of various craters. Gas bubbles rose from the mud in craters, a network of gullies, ridges and beautifully carved, deep muddy grooves, extruded from the volcanoes by rain and wind erosion. We returned to our base camp in the last afternoon, tired but triumphant.

Details of Mud Volcanoes:

Borbroong is the local word from a mud volcano.

Borbroong 1: About 100 x 70 feet crater, almost round in shape, 1509 feet above sea level. Mud oozed from three different points each of about 2 feet.

Borbroong 2: About 15 x 12 feet crater, almost round in shape and 1490 feet above sea level. About 5 feet deep, with wet surface.

Borbroong 3: About 12 x 12 feet crater, circular on shape and 1480 feet above sea level;. The surface was like a spring with mud and water oozing out.

Borbroong 4: About 4 x 3 feet crater, irregular shape, at 1480 feet above sea level, which actively oozed out mud.

Borbroong 5: About 3 x 3 feet crater, circular in shape and 1480 feet above sea level, actively oozed mud.

Borbroong 6: About 40 x 60 feet crater irregular in shape and 1470 feet above sea level. Mud oozed out from two points each 2 feet diameter.

Borbroong 7: About 8 x 8 feet crater, rounded in shape and 1470 feet above sea level. It was elevated about 3 feet from the surface and oozed our mud.

Small glittering crystals of iron pyrite of 5-20 millimeters in size can frequently be seen around the craters, also known as Fool’s Gold.”

We have natural gas and oil in huge volume under these mud volcanoes, waiting for us to drill it out. There are many places in Baluchistan where color of the soil is golden brown, truly indicates the presence of Gold, Copper, Brass and other precious elements.

Several commissions have been organized to calculate the worth of these resources, to make feasibility reports and project plans, but no real action has been taken yet from the last two decades. These reserves should only be explored by our own institutions, either by government’s organized projects or through private sectors’ investments. Government should create a smooth and peaceful atmosphere for local investors to come forward and serve their own motherland. Let us do our part and help spread the words!

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Category: Socio Political

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