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New chairman has straightforward plans for OGDCL.

ISLAMABAD -- Dr Qamar Javaid Sharif, the newly-appointed board chairman of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), has simple and straightforward plans for the future of the largest energy entity of Pakistan.

Borrowing a phrase from a 2008 Republican Party campaign for US presidential elections, he said that the only way forward is to keep drilling new wells, and keep experimenting.

'I am new, today is only my fourth day as the board chairman and I am going to say no to all your difficult questions,' Dr Sharif stated during his first press meet as the company chairman on Friday.

He noted that Pakistan's oil production is barely one-tenth of its consumption, adding that there is a lot of potential for growth in this sector 'even if it brings more challenges and possible risks of failures with it'.

He said the company's current success ratio is 1:3, meaning that for every three wells dug, one rig pays off. 'Internationally, the ratio is 1:10. So even if we end up in the neighbourhood of 1:5, we are still good to go,' he added.

Walking his audience through his journey, he accentuated on the importance of hands-on experience with drilling, exploration and production, saying that the management of drilling sites is imperative for anyone in his position.

It is important to note that it is the first time in the history of OGDCL that a technically qualified, non-bureaucratic chairman of the board has been appointed. Dr Sharif merited the incumbent government for bringing up such a board of directors for OGDCL that includes qualified professionals and excelled individuals.

The new board chairman shared three objectives that he has planned for OGDCL's future, which he said he has already communicated to the board of directors and other officials of the company.

'Growth, strategy, and talent. We need to drill more wells and make sure that our reserve replacement ratio is high. We need to have better technology and be more entrepreneurial in our approach to explore and dig wells. We also need to ensure that we have suitable people to run respective operations,' he remarked.

He said that employees of the company have been behaving as if their 'government job means destined promotion and benefits' irrespective of performance and that needs to be changed.

He emphasized on the need of having more handymen willing to get their hands dirty operating rig equipment and changing machinery parts instead of desk officers.

The chairman called for the company to enter the territory of shale oil and was visibly exasperated when someone mentioned the environmental damage potential of oil shale.

'Developed countries used all these energy sources themselves and when it came to countries like us, they are telling us to be careful about the environment. Our economy remains our key focus,' he asserted.

In addition to the three-pronged objectives plan and the direct aim of drilling more and more wells, the board chairman also plans to establish a technical library within OGDCL whereby the employees, and possibly outsiders too, will have the opportunity to read and study the energy industry and its processes on their own.

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Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 3, 2019
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