On Thursday, The petroleum exploration and development companies asked the government to improve the working environment for oil and gas exploration activities by addressing issues pertaining to security, revocation of their existing blocks, and procurement rules.
The representatives of the Mari Petroleum Company suggested to the government to prioritize the offshore blocks in the upcoming bidding round as they had the potential of large oil and gas reserves and offered to coordinate with foreign firms as joint venture partners to facilitate foreign investment.
Some of the private companies also raised the issues of security in their operations and suggested the government and its agencies were well aware of the areas where exploration activities are handicapped by the local environment. In such cases, the government should not only provide security coverage but also be very considerate in the revocation of existing blocks.
The companies also expressed concerns over pricing structure making local oil and gas production uncompetitive while public sectors companies showed their limitation caused by the public procurement rules and policies hampering fair competition in acquisition of goods and services needed in the exploration and production sector.
The CEOs of Dewan Group, Orient Petroleum, Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, Mari Petroleum, Petroleum Exploration Company and PGiNG, a polish firm, attended the meeting.
The management of Mari Petroleum believed that Pakistan could fetch better results of oil and gas through offshore blocks that would help to overcome gas shortages and meet oil requirements of the country as onshore areas had smaller deposits that did not attract big companies.
Pakistani state companies along with foreign firms ENI and ExxonMobil had made efforts in an offshore block but remained unsuccessful. Officials of Pakistani companies, however, were of the view previous attempts had helped collect a lot of data that would be useful in future efforts.