PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has decided to delegate the powers of petroleum concessions to the provincial secretary energy and power as the Directorate General Petroleum Concession (DGPC) has been delaying its requests for oil and gas exploration activities in the blocks since 2014.
The K-P Energy and Power Department, through a summary, sought advice of the provincial law department on delegating the powers. The law department replied that the K-P chief minister could delegate the powers to the energy secretary under Article-138 of the Constitution, on the recommendation of the provincial government through an act of the provincial assembly.
The energy department will prepare a draft bill under which the K-P chief minister will delegate the powers to the energy secretary, said sources privy to the matter on Sunday.
“We are left with no other option and this is where we will be heading,” said an official of the K-P government requesting anonymity. “We will send a summary to the chief minister for approval and then a bill will be drafted or an ordinance promulgated.”
Oil and gas exploration activities are being hindered in the province as the DGPC is not giving petroleum concessions to the energy department for the blocks.
The K-P government has demarcated seven blocks – Lakki, DIK East, DIK West, Nowshera, Miran, Khushal and Charsadda – for petroleum exploration but the DGPC has not awarded permits to the K-P government due to which it can’t start working.
The official said that despite the fact that the federal government’s Ministry of Defence has awarded a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the K-P government for exploration activities, the DGPC has not replied to their requests filed over a period of more than two years, let alone an NOC.
“The K-P Oil and Gas Company Limited (OGCL) has been limited to joint ventures because it needs a permit from the DGPC,” the official said.
“The OGCL has just started constructing an oil refinery otherwise it was limited to joint ventures,” the official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2017.