Dear Sir, This is with reference to the article titled “Slay the White Elephants” written by Ms. Saadia Gardezi and published in your esteemed newspaper on 28th May, 2018.

“Ms. Gardezi has written the said article without proper research and without background information about Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which is one of the leading E&P Companies of Pakistan. Due to her lack of correct information, she has linked this prestigious organisation of the Country with sick entities like PIA & PSM in her article.

It is for your and Ms Saadia’s information that Mari Petroleum is an integrated exploration and production company, currently managing and operating Pakistan’s largest gas reservoir at Mari Gas Field, Daharki, Sindh.

With 18% market share, Mari Petroleum is the second largest gas producer in the Country with cumulative daily production equivalent to 100,000 barrels of oil.

The Company’s exploration and production assets are spread across all the four provinces of Pakistan. The Company enjoys the highest exploration success rate of 72%, much higher than industry average of 33% (national) and 14% (international). At the same time, it is the most cost efficient E&P Company in the Country with lowest operational cost of only 7.7% of the gross sales.

The Company plays a pivotal role in ensuring food security of Pakistan as around 80% urea production in the Country is based on MPCL supplied gas. Further, the Company contributes approximately 80% of its gross revenues to Government exchequer in the form of various levies and taxes.

To its credit, Mari Petroleum has the unique record of maintaining uninterrupted gas supply to its customers from Mari Field for the last fifty years without availing even the permitted outages.

If you look at the Company’s last five years performance, you will see how deficient Ms. Gardezi’s information regarding Mari Petroleum was. During the last five completed financial years i.e. 2013 to 2017, the Company’s gross revenue registered a growth of 48% from Rs. 65.13 billion to Rs. 96.19 billion. Growth in Net Sales was even more impressive at 139% from Rs. 11.78 billion to Rs. 28.18 billion. The Company’s net profits jumped from Rs. 2.42 billion to Rs. 9.14 billion, a growth of 277%. During this period, the Company contributed Rs. 339 billion to the Government Exchequer in the form of various taxes and levies. The Company also spent Rs. 672 million on multiple CSR projects apart from paying guaranteed dividend, specie dividend and bonus shares to the shareholders worth more than 13 billion. During this period, the oil & gas produced by Mari Petroleum helped save foreign exchange worth Rs. 1.141trillion.

MPCL is one of the few E&P Companies in the world which have registered growth in all areas of their operations despite downturn in global oil & gas industry from second half of 2014 till late 2017.

Mari Petroleum’s name was included in the list of entities to be privatised because Government wanted to divest its investment (which is only 18.39% of the total shareholding) in the Company firstly because the Government wanted to reduce its involvement in commercial activities and secondly the Government was expecting to generate handsome proceeds from sale of its shares in Mari Petroleum as the share price was set at Rs. 1,298/share due to the Company’s outstanding financial and operational performance in the past and its excellent prospects in the future. Mari Petroleum’s share price closed at Rs. 1,519 on May 28, 2018.

From the above stated brief facts, it is clear that linking MPCL’s good name with dysfunctional organisations by the writer is nothing but a manifestation of her lack of information.

 

The writer is the Assistant Manager Corporate Communications at MPCL.