Islamabad   -   In a direct case of conflict of interest around one dozen employees of different Exploration and Production Companies (E&P) companies are working in Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC) office which is undermining its role as a regulator.

The employees of some of the private Oil and Gas companies are working in the DGPC of the Petroleum Division and despite severe criticism from the provinces and exploration companies the government is not able to send them back to their parent companies, official sources told The Nation here Sunday.

The employees of the E&P companies are sitting in DGPC and are protecting the interests of their companies rather the country and provinces, said the source. The employees of the E&P Companies are controlling the decision making power in prices and finances, the source said.

Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions is one of the Directorates of the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) functioning as the Regulatory authority for all Upstream Exploration & Production activities in Pakistan.

The vacant posts are being filled with the employees of the companies which can endanger the secrecy of the policy making body, said the source.

“You cannot make any oil and gas policy in secrecy in the presence of the representatives of the oil and gas companies setting in the Policy Wing,” the source said. Beside secrecy dedication is another issue with these temporary posted employees as they are not dedicated to the petroleum division.

Since these officials are working on attachment basis, in the Policy Wing, therefore they take high salaries from their respective corporations and companies. These officials are working in easy environment with full enjoyment of the amenities available to the government officials, the source added

These employees of the E&P companies are so powerful that nobody can dare to send them back to their parents companies.

The source said that the provinces and other E&P Companies have severely criticized the presence of these persons in DGPC, and who have also desired to provide manpower to DGPC. The interest of provinces is also at stake owing to these outsiders as they are giving undue expense to the E & P Companies at the expense of the provinces, said that source.

The Petroleum Policy allows the Government to utilise training fund for strengthening of Petroleum Division and Provincial governments however DGPC had sent the employees of the private companies on training by using the training funds, said the source. According the rules the DGPC can sent only the government officials for training abroad however the employees of private E&P companies are being trained using the training funds.

The DGPC can hire senior and junior professional from the market without compromising on interest of the country but unfortunately instead of hiring their own work force they are relying on employees of the private companies, said the source.

The source said that some employees are so influential that the ministry cannot repatriate them to their parent companies. The presence of these officials and their entire activities needs to be hand over to FIA to ascertain that how the presence of these employees provide benefit to their parents E&P companies, said the source.

When contacted the Federal Minister for Petroleum, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, told the scribe that all such companies employees will be repatriated to their parent companies. The minister said that the government will make new hiring against all the sanctioned vacant posts in the DGPC.