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Italian explorer, Eni SpA (E - Analyst Report) encountered a gas deposit in a probe drilled at its Lundali prospect, onshore Pakistan.

Located in the Sukhpur Block in the Kirthar Foldbelt, 270 kilometers north of Karachi in the Sindh Province, the Lundali-1 NFW exploratory well was drilled to reach a depth of 2,660 meters. The additional yield at Lundali will facilitate the development of the existing infrastructure of Eni including the Bhit gas processing facility situated 30 kilometers to the west of the Block.

The well struck gas bearing sands in the Paleocene sequence that flowed gas at a rate of 33 million cubic feet per day in a production test. The production test emphasized on the reservoir’s superior capacity and signifies a new achievement in Eni’s near-field exploration strategy in the country.

The outcome also validates the considerable exploration prospects of the Sukhpur Block. The joint venture proposes to spud another exploration well in the Sukhpur Block within a year.

In an effort to speed up the Time to Market, Eni is likely to commercialize the find through an early production scheme, which will lead to initial gas within three years from the award of the Block in Feb 2010.

Eni Pakistan Limited, a subsidiary of Eni, operates the Sukhpur Block with a working interest of 45%. The other partners in the joint venture are PPL and KUFPEC with a holding of 30% and 25%, respectively.

Eni, the largest oil and gas producer among the foreign companies, has been operating in Pakistan since 2000. The company’s average daily hydrocarbon equity yield was around 57,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 2012.

Eni holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, there are other stocks in the oil and gas sector – InterOil Corporation (IOC - Snapshot Report) , EPL Oil & Gas, Inc. and CNOOC Ltd. (CEO - Analyst Report) – which hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are expected to perform better.

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