ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Wednesday awarded licence to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil & Gas Company Ltd (KPOGCL) to start exploration operations in Lakki district.

This is the first petroleum concession agreement of the PTI government and comes after a gap of more than four years. About three dozen exploration blocks are currently pending for security clearance.

The Petroleum Division has formally executed the Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA) and Exploration Licence with KPOGCL over Block No.3270-9 (Lakki) which were signed by Secretary Petroleum Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Director General Petroleum Concessions Qazi Mohammad Saleem Siddiqui and KPOGCL chief executive Raziuddin.

Lakki Block is located in districts Lakki Marwat, Karak and Bannu with total area at 1,269.93 sq km. Apart from the minimum firm financial commitment of $7.7 million, the company is obligated to spend at least $30,000 per year on social welfare schemes in the block.

KPOGCL is a holding company of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, set up after the 18th amendment to undertake exploration and production activities. Lakki is the first block being granted to KPOGCL as an operator.

Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who attended the ceremony, said the execution of the exploration agreement will not only attract new investments in the petroleum sector but also bridge the gap between energy demand and supply.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2018

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