ISLAMABAD: Several oil and gas exploration companies operating across the country have made as many as 73 discoveries as a result of 271 drills carried out in the last three years.According to the official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, exploration companies have spudded 271 wells and made 73 oil and gas discoveries since June 5, 2013. The government has been taking solid measures to meet the country’s growing energy needs, for which it has already enhanced the monitoring of Exploration and Production (E&P) activities besides acquiring 17,864 LKm of 2D and 14,233 Sq. Km of the 3D seismic survey to identify several new prospects.The sources have also said that during the above-mentioned period, 46 new exploration licences, which covered an area of 94,608.85 sq. km had been awarded to accelerate the exploration activities in the country.The ministry’s drive against various non-performing oil and gas exploration companies is also being carried out, and it has recently issued notices to 12 additional inactive licence holders for their failure to start the exploration work in accordance with the agreement, the sources disclosed. “More inactive licences will be revoked shortly after completing all formalities,” they added.The government was making all-out efforts to pave the way for the exploration of unconventional resources like “tight gas”, shale gas and low BTU gas among others.They said that various measures being implemented to minimise the gas shortfall included the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), projects which were importing gas through the pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan, in addition to the promotion of the LPG air mix. The ministry is also facilitating oil and gas companies with incentives, under the Petroleum Policy-2012, to expedite the exploration activities, the sources concluded.