MOL also considering bids for SNGPL and SSGC in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — MOL Oil and Gas group of Hungary, which is bidding for Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), has expressed its willingness to also buy the country's two premier gas companies — Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Gas Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

By Our Correspondent

Published: Sun 6 May 2007, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:56 PM

"MOL's Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Budapest on 26 of last month has decided to substantially invest in Russia and Pakistan", the local chief of the company told Khaleej Times yesterday.

Janos Feher, Managing Director of MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas said that the AGM was particularly pleased to enhance its presence in Pakistan by taking part in various state sector enterprises particularly SNGPL and SSGC.

MOL group, he said, has $3.8 billion cash in hand which could be utilised for new acquisition in Pakistan.

Responding to a question, he said MOL has been officially informed through a letter last week by the ministry of privatisation and investment that there was some delay in the privatisation of PPL.

MOL Group of Hungary is one of the three bidders who had been short-listed for participating in the bidding of the PPL. The other two bidders are OMV of Austria and the British Gas (BG).

Feher said that the ministry expected that MOL would continue to take active interest in the bidding of PPL. He, however, did not believe that privatisation of PPL had been postponed for an indefinite period.

Asked whether the government was looking for more national and international companies to take part in the privatisation of the PPL, the local MOL chief said that he did not know about it. "But I don't think inviting more companies will help especially after the short-listing of the three major international companies". He said the government was still finalising some issues before the privatisation of the PPL.

However, sources said that one of the reasons for delaying the PPL transaction was the continuous demand of Balochistan government to get some shares in the entity.

"Balochistan is seeking certain ownership in the PPL but if that is accepted than other three provinces, where the entity is involved in various operations, would come up with same demand", a source familiar with the issue said.

To a question, Feher said that MOL, which is one of the top oil and gas companies in the central Europe, found Pakistan a good place for making new investment.

"And Both SNGPL and SSGC clearly fit in our development strategy and investment portfolio", he said adding that there will be a major synergy effect to have more involvement in Northern Tal Block and Margalla North Block by purchasing SNGPL and SSGC.

He said that MOL have ideas and intentions to get further involved with foreign companies in seeking new petroleum concessions for oil and gas exploration in Pakistan. "Our main goal is to acquire new blocks for exploration", he said adding that security situation has improved for foreign investors in Pakistan. The government, he said, was providing all necessary support to the international oil and gas companies, currently operating in Pakistan.

In reply to a question, he said presently MOL Group was producing 70 million cubic feet of gas daily and 2500 barrel of condensate oil in the Tal Block of NWFP. "We started the process by putting up central processing facilities which is a gas plant", he said adding that by 2009, his company would add additional 200 million cubic feet of gas per day which will meet 70 per cent gas needs of Northern Pakistan. This will be met through Manzalai gas field.

And by 2013 additional 100 million cubic feet of gas per day will be further added to meet 100 per cent gas requirements of Northern Pakistan. Tal Block, he said, comprised of Kohat, Kurk, Hungo, Bunnu and some parts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

"We are hoping for very promising Mamikhel area in Tal Block in the third quarter of this year for getting more gas", Feher said adding that MOL has so far made a total of $220 million investment through joint ventures with Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Oil Fields (POL) and government Holding of Pakistan Limited (GHPL).

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