ISLAMABAD -  The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to stop issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) to those oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies whose licences, issued by the federal government, are expired and they are getting extensions.

The licenses of some Exploration and Production companies are expired and they are holding their block on extensions for the last so many years without showing any progress, therefore the provincial government has decided to discourage such practices and stop issuing them NOCs, official source told The Nation here on Sunday.

He said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has asked the provincial home department not to issue NOC to all those oil and Gas exploration companies whose licenses were expired. It is pertinent to mention here that Directorate General of Petroleum Concession (DGPC) is the license issuing authority.

The official said that with the insertion of a new sub-section in Article 172 of the constitution, the provincial government has the right to robustly work for increasing exploration and production activities in the oil and gas sector.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Energy and Power Department, in a letter to the secretary Home and Tribal Affairs Department, said, “I have been directed to refer to the subject noted above and to state that the exploration licence issued by the federal government for the subject blocks have already been expired. This department is of the view that the NOC for security clearance, seismic study or drilling to any oil and gas exploration and production company in these blocks may not be given without the consent of this department.”

“I have been further directed that this department may be taken in loop for issuance of any NOC regarding the subject matter and the NOC already issued may be treated as cancelled,” the letter stated. Non-renewal or issuance of NOC/security clearance for seismic or drilling projects to six blocks has been directed by the provincial energy department, the document revealed. The blocks includes Peshawar block, Baratai block, Gurgalot block, Marwat block, Margala North block and Latamber block. Out of six blocks, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has three blocks, MOL Hycerbex and OPL has one block each.

“Since these companies are required to get NOCs from the administration of the concerned districts therefore we have asked the home department to direct all the concerned district administration not to issue any permission,” the official said. The KP government has time and again asked the federal government to announce fresh bidding for block to bring new companies to the area. “We have also proposed if DGPC cannot handle it lets the KP government bring new companies,” the official added.