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Balochistan to form energy holding company

The Balochistan government plans to form a holding company to manage its interests in upstream oil and gas ventures in the province, sources in Karachi told The News on Wednesday.

The Balochistan Energy Holding Company would manage the provincial government’s interests in the development and production leases and exploration licences in the province to be awarded following the Energy Policy 2012.

The sources said that the provincial management is working on it and framing of legal structure is underway. The new holding company would be like the Government Holdings (Private) Limited (GHPL), the sources added.

The Balochistan government’s holding company could acquire 2.5 percent shareholding in all the new concessions to be granted afterwards, the sources said, adding that Presently, GHPL holds five percent stake in all the exploration and development ventures, which would be reduced to 2.5 percent as the remaining would go to the provincial holding company.

The new company could either acquire stake by investment or the joint venture partner would have to carry it as a holding partner, they said.

Balochistan is rich in minerals and natural resources.

According to recent statistics, there are scores of identified blocs available in the province for hydrocarbon exploration and development ventures.

The oil and gas exploration companies and the Balochistan government have recently agreed on a security plan, engaging local chieftains to provide a suitable environment for exploration and production in the province, the sources said.

To create a more conducive environment for the investors, the government is providing basic infrastructure of roads and development of human resources, they said.

The provincial government has an open policy of investment, offering all incentives, concessions and facilities without any discrimination, they said.

Plans are afoot to establish a new city, an industrial zone and oil storage and refining facilities adjacent to the port, which will also provide warehousing, transshipment and other related facilities, the sources said.

Six new exploration concession agreements, covering an area of 14,000 square kilometres, signed with Pakistani and foreign companies clearly showed the oil and gas prospects in the province, they added.

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