Oil, gas companies line up for exploration in FATA

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Peshawar

EFFECTIVE facilitation and improved security environment attracted numerous oil and gas companies, both local and international, for launching exploration projects in resources-rich FATA.
The rugged and treacherous landscape of FATA is home to a long held hidden treasure, but ironically successive governments paid little attention towards development of FATA.
However, the present federal government paved way for development and revival of economic activities in FATA, observed Azhar Mehboob, Senior Executive Administration Oil and Gas Facilitation Unit (OGFU) FATA Development Authority (FDA).
Taking to APP, Azhar Mehboob said in pursuance of directives of Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Engr Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, FDA through its project Oil & Gas Facilitation Unit (OGFU) embarked upon a rigorous effort to exploit oil & gas reserves, revive economic activities and bring area at par with other developed areas of the country.
Within a limited period of time, OGFU made tremendous headway by awarding 15 blocks to eight national and multinational companies in term of oil and gas exploration. “OGFU, FDA, within the very short span of time has attracted an amount of Rs. 20 billion investment in oil and gas sector during 2D Seismic survey and geological mapping, until now,” Azhar disclosed.
He said the OGFU had generated multiple layer employment opportunities for FATA youth. Until now it had provided FATA youth with 1000 direct or indirect job opportunities. It made areas development obligatory upon the companies engaged therein.
It helped restore the soft image of FATA that was previously been considered a ghost town. It also facilitated FATA youth in acquiring practical knowledge of field through one month internship with OGDCL that was clinched in an agreement signed between both months back, he went on to say.
Azhar informs that FDA was assisting exploration & production (E&P) companies by utilizing all possible ways and means.
Both OGFU and FDA started their endeavors with reaching-out to different companies to initiate activities in FATA as per their commitments in Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA) with Federal Government.
It held out assurance to companies of its firm backing in solving all issues falling under its ambit. This was followed by meetings with different companies that include: OGDCL, AL-HAJJ Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, BGP Pakistan, Geofizyka, MOL, OPL, Senshe etc.
Moreover, a breakthrough meeting was held in early 2016 at FDA where companies having stakes in FATA were steered towards right direction and appraised about course of action to be followed so as long awaited developmental activities in FATA could be kicked off.
With every passing day FDA increased pace of its endeavors and utilized every possible avenue to encourage E&P companies to commence activities in FATA.
The modus operandi OGFU uses covers consensus of all stake holders including Pak Army. It forwards the company’s request to FATA Secretariat, Law & Order Department for No Objection Certificate (NOC).
The FATA Secretariat then forwards the same request to the Political Administration of the Agency/FR where company intends to work or has block. Following acquiring permission from Political Administration, Law & Order gives NOC to the Company.
OGFU in collaboration with Political Administration call Jirga of local elders of the area to take them into confidence about the activity planned. In the very same meeting incentives and employment opportunities attached with the activities are conveyed to the local elders and terms and conditions are finalized.
Azhar said BGP (a Chinese contractor), was the first company whom this office assisted to commence 2D Seismic survey in Latambar block, FR Bannu. It successfully conducted its activities therein the area. Its gives huge benefits to locals in term of employment, free medical camps, and installation of free pressure pumps followed by Geofizyka, Cracow (A Polish based Geophysical Company) and Senshe that completed its geophysical survey in Baska North Block (FR DI Khan) and Kohat Block (Lower Orakzai, FR Kohat and FR Peshawar) respectively.
Following witnessing successful venture of afore-mentioned companies, other E&P companies having stakes in FATA rushed to OGFU for the same assistance extended to companies mentioned above.
The same assistance, in fact with more vigor and zeal, was provided to different companies for different blocks. MOL that has completed gravity survey in North Waziristan Agency and is planning for 2D Seismic survey in NWA.
Last but not the least; FATA Development Authority is pursuing multi-pronged endeavors. On one hand while it is busy in assisting companies in commencing E&P activities and providing them with overarching support from start to end, on other hand it is making efforts to get the area develop via social welfare obligation amount and other obligations on part of companies, Azhar concludes.—APP