Lobbies active again: PM rejects new OGDC MD

Petroleum ministry directed to resume interview process to appoint new head


Express August 12, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has rejected the appointment of Zahid Imran Farani as managing director of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and asked the Ministry of Petroleum to resume interview process for appointing a new head of the country’s largest oil and gas exploration company.


Sources told The Express Tribune that some lobbies, who wanted to win billions of rupees worth of contracts, might be behind the dismissal of the new MD. “These lobbies are always active and want to appoint an MD of their choice,” a source said.

Earlier, the petroleum ministry had moved a summary to the prime minister, recommending Farani for the slot of OGDC managing director.

“Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain was not part of the previous interview committee and the prime minister has asked him to take part in its proceedings and hold a second round of interviews to appoint a new MD,” a source said, adding now the minister would interview shortlisted candidates.

Farani, who secured highest points among four internal candidates in the selection process, is currently working as general manager exploration in OGDC. He was the man who blocked an attempt by some forces to sell the largest Zen oil and gas field, located in Balochistan with seven trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, to a private company.

Farani, who has vast experience of oil and gas exploration, had earlier been neglected for the post of executive director.

At present, General Manager Supply Chain Management Bisharat Mirza is holding the charge of acting managing director at OGDC.

After becoming adviser to prime minister on petroleum and natural resources, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain sacked managing directors of all public sector oil and gas companies in a bid to bring a marked improvement in the affairs of these companies.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.

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