Workshop on Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Sector Challenges

December 21, 2023
Updated 2023/12/21 at 7:16 PM
4 Min Read

Taking cognizance the increasing energy import bill, reduced investment in petroleum exploration activities and the challenges presented by exploration and production companies during various interactions, Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) took the initiative of meaningfully engaging with upstream petroleum industry. Accordingly, a full day workshop was held on Thursday 21st December 2023 which provided a platform to articulate the challenges faced by the industry and a unique opportunity for meaningful interaction directly amongst the key stakeholders to resolve the challenges and to enhance investment in the sector. The Minister for Energy Muhammad Ali and Secretary Petroleum along with all relevant Director Generals attended the workshop. The industry was represented by CEOs/MDs of leading companies including MPCL, OGDCL, PPL, UEPL, PIOGCL, PEL, OPI, POL, KUFPEC, IPR, GHPL, KPOGCL.
Mr. Faheem Haider, MD/CEO MPCL opened the workshop and presented energy outlook of the country alongwith potential of hydrocarbon resources which can be tapped to control the depleting trend of oil and gas production in the country. He underscored the need for governmental support through various policy interventions and creating a business friendly environment.
The Minister for Energy Muhammad Ali while welcoming the participants highlighted the importance of interaction and collaboration in collectively addressing the challenges. While setting the objectives and expectations from workshops, the Minister emphasized the need to increase exploration activity to replenish reserves and to substitute import of fossil fuels. He expressed his commitment to improve government processes and approvals to enable agility and rapid investments in the private sector. He also indicated to consider revamping pricing schemes to make exploration of hydrocarbons economically viable and also assured that any proposal for amendments in policies aimed to achieve the desired objective of workshop would be given due consideration.

The industry professionals presented challenges faced by them and suggested certain amendments in Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy 2012, formulation of a new Tight Gas Policy, simplification of approvals processed for allocation of gas discoveries, wellhead and gas sale price notifications, development of model agreements for sale of crude oil and gas, regulatory framework to provide for gradual transition from control to compliance, resolution of License /Lease rent indexation, ease of Exit / entry into Pakistan, impact of windfall levy on oil on E&P sector.

In the penultimate session an open discussion was held for the participants to appraise the forum about any other issues beyond the fixed agenda in an open manner and matters were deliberated upon. During the course of the workshop on some issues progress was made and directions were given to the relevant departments for the way forward, while for issues which needed further deliberation working groups were formed to progress the matter further and come up with workable options / proposals within specified timelines. The working groups were advised to complete their assigned tasks within next week and present their recommendations during next workshop tentatively scheduled during 1st week of January 2024.

In his concluding remarks, the Minister for Energy thanked MPCL for taking lead in providing the opportunity on a collaborative interaction of all stakeholders for meaningful discussions and once again assured of his and the Government’s full cooperation and support to resolve the issues of the industry to enhance the oil and gas exploration and production in Pakistan.

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