Government mulling proposal to establish new regulatory authority for oil & gas sector

ISLAMABAD: The government is mulling a proposal to establish the Pakistan Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority to promote and regulate the upstream activities in line with the international best practices in a planned, well executed, sustainable and cost effective manner.

According to documents, functions of the proposed Pakistan Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority will be to decide the matters of grants, regulations, annulment, revocation and monitoring of all petroleum rights and upstream activities.

Similarly, this authority will promote and facilitate the upstream activities by the holders of petroleum rights so as to ensure its execution in line with the international best practices in a planned, well executed, sustainable and cost effective manner. Furthermore, the authority will be responsible for the monitoring, implementing and regulating the upstream activities.

The proposed Pakistan Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority will also have the mandate to exclusively issue gas price notifications for the producers. It will also monitor field development plans, operation and production (including environmental compliance, community engagements, health and safety compliance, and fiscal compliance), cessation of production and removal of facilities.  

“The Authority shall be a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power and function to enter into contracts, acquire, hold and dispose of property both movable and immovable and shall by its own name sue and be sued,” said the documents.

It is also learnt that the headquarter of the Authority will be in Islamabad and with the prior approval of the federal government set as many offices all over the country as when and where required.

The Authority will consist of a Chairman and four members (Member Exploration, Member Production, Member Safety and Finance, and Member Legal and Compliance) who will be appointed on the recommendations of the respective provincial government on rotational basis.

The federal government will appoint a Chairman of the authority while the process for the appointment of a member or a Chairman, as the case may be, will be initiated by the Authority within one hundred and seventy days prior to the expiry of the term of the member or the Chairman.

As per document, the Authority will, in the performance of its functions act transparently and fairly. The government will from time to time, issue the policy directives as it may deem necessary, which will be binding upon the Authority.

And, the Authority will comply with the policy guidelines issued by the government in exercise of its powers and functions and in making the decision. Moreover, the Authority will have the exclusive power to require notices and reports specified under the safety regulations.

Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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