On the pattern of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), the government is planning to launch an independent Pakistan Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Regulatory Authority (PPEPRA). The aim is to define policy and the regulatory functions for the upstream sector and attract investment in order to develop a resource base.
In the past few years, many foreign companies withdrew from Pakistan due to policy issues and bureaucratic hurdles. This led to the idea of establishing its own authority.
Once the authority is established it will provide a level playing field for the investors that are seeking to add capital into the upstream petroleum sector.
After consultation with the provincial government, the authority will be created. A plan was submitted in the Council of Common Interests (CCI) recent meeting.
In wake of a proposal that was submitted by Sindh, this decision was taken up to set up an independent petroleum regulator with equal representation for provinces and on the model of Nepra.
However, it is important to note that the upstream sector needs a vibrant and dynamic regulator that will boost tech deployment for economical and socially responsible hydrocarbon resources exploration that aims to substitute imports and develop an indigenous resource base.
Thus, the meeting was told that it is convenient to establish PPEPRA. In order to address the concerns of any province, it will be mandatory for PPEPRA to comply with the CCI approved policy guidelines. Also, a yearly report will be submitted to the CCI that will contain all regulatory and other approvals and decisions made on an annual basis.