ISLAMABAD: In a bid to boost oil and gas production in the country and generate revenues in foreign currency, the government has approved the revival of 11 revoked oil and gas exploration licences, after the petroleum division moved a summary in this regard to the cabinet.

Sources in the petroleum division revealed that the government approved a framework for the revival of 11 revoked licences through an out-of-court settlement.

A working paper in this regard shows that the government expects $100 million worth of investment in these exploration and production (E&P) blocks, and the country will immediately get around $5m within three months in terms of license fees and other charges.

Among these, five licences belong to the Dewan group, five others to Pakistan Exploration Limited (PEL) and another to Oil and Gas Investment Company.

Sources said the E&P companies would be offered gas price in line with the petroleum policy 2012, following the signing of supplemental agreements with the government.

The petroleum division told the cabinet, in a recent meeting, that the licence of those companies were revoked, because they had failed to undertake the committed work programmes, and had not met the financial obligations to meet the goals of social welfare etc.

But the companies approached a civil court in Islamabad and the Sindh High Court and obtained status quo orders for the 11 exploration blocks.

The petroleum division apprised the cabinet that as the cases were being pursued in the courts for early decisions, the litigant companies had also expressed keen interest in exploration work.

The cabinet noted general consensus and support for the proposed renewal of exploration licences. It reviewed the summary titled “Revival of Revoked Petroleum Exploration Licences”, submitted by the petroleum division, and approved the proposal.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2022

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