ISLAMABAD – Ostensibly setting aside the exploration rules while executing Exploration Licence to KPBV (Kirthar Pakistan BV), the government has desperately opted an option which grants government to government level agreement under the provision of Petroleum Exploration & Production Policy 2009.
In an effort to materialise the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in recent past between Kuwait and Pakistani governments and to attract investment in oil and gas sector of the country, the Exploration Licence (EL) has been granted on government to government basis under the provision of Petroleum Exploration & Production Policy 2009 as a result of personal efforts of Dr Asim Hussain who has desired that Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources should be dynamic to meet the new challenges faced in meeting energy needs.
The statement issued by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources (MP & NR) on Friday said,” The Government of Pakistan on 12th October, 2012 executed an Exploration Licence (EL) over block No. 2467-14 (Jati) falling in Zone-Ill with Kirthar Pakistan B.V. (KPBV) (Operator) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) holding 75per cent and 25 per cent working interests respectively, covering an area of 2465.33 sq. kms located in district Thatta, Sindh province. The JV has committed to undertake 330 work units in the Licence area amounting to $3.3 million during the Phase-l (first 3 years) of the initial term of the Licence. The work programme includes 500-line kms 2D seismic survey and drilling of two exploration wells.”
The MP&NR in its statement has further emphasised that since execution of new Exploration Licences/Petroleum Concession Agreements forms an integral part of the Government’s drive to attract investment in oil and gas sector, therefore, maximum number of exploration licences may be executed with the multinational as well as public sector/local E&P Companies to achieve the desired goals to cater for the energy requirements of the country in the shortest possible time.
However, background interviews and discussions conducted with the market sources have confided that though the exploration rules loudly ask for an advertisements and bidding process prior to execution of the EL to any company yet the Government of Pakistan has opted to utilize Petroleum Exploration & Production Policy 2009 while executing Exploration Licence (EL) to KPBV (Kirthar Pakistan B.V.) on 12th October, 2012 to ensure 500-line kms 2D seismic survey and drilling of two exploration wells located in block No. 2467-14 (Jati) falling in Zone-Ill (district Thatta, Sindh province). They have also argued that it seems interesting to note that from recent past, Advisor to the Premier on the affairs of Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim and the ministry of petroleum and natural resources persistently found harping an appreciating note over Petroleum Exploration & Production Policy 2012 on various occasions that its benefits have been started, however, execution of the EL to KPBV under Petroleum Exploration & Production Policy 2009 has raised serious questions in this regards.
It is pertinent to mention that at the groundbreaking ceremony of Latif Gas field operated by OMV (Pakistan) at Sawan Plant in District Khairpur (Sindh), when OMV also signed the Development and Production Lease Agreement for Latif Gas field, Dr. Asim Hussain had said that companies operating in the up-stream Oil and Gas sector should take full advantage of the incentives offered in the Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Policy 2012 and in this regard assured facilitation from the government. On the occasion, Dr Asim Hussain expressed confidence that after the announcement of Petroleum Policy 2012, E&P companies are coming forward with new discoveries that would help in reducing gap between demand and supply of oil and gas in the country.
The KPBV (Kirthar Pakistan B.V.) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), existing under the laws of The Netherlands. KUFPEC is active in Africa, Middle East, Far East, Australia and South East Asia regions. The company has been active in Pakistan since the mid of 1980 and currently holding working interests in Qadirpur, Zamzama, Kadanwari, Bhit & Bhadra, Sukhpur and Zarghun blocks.
The execution ceremony of executing Exploration Licence (EL) to KPBV (Kirthar Pakistan B.V.) was witnessed by Dr. Asim Hussain. The Exploration Licence and the Petroleum Concession Agreement were signed by Dr Waqar Masood Khan, Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources, Qazi Mohammad Saleem Siddiqui, Director General Petroleum Concessions, A. Naser Y. AI-Fulaij, Deputy Managing Director, KUFPEC and Asim Murtaza Khan, CEO/Managing Director, PPL.
courtesy: The Nation