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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » July 2, 2010
Pakistan in Poland
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Great Potential
July 2, 2010   
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Khalid Rahman, CEO of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), talks to Wojciech Lorenz.

Is there a chance that PPL will be drilling for gas in Pakistan together with Polish oil and gas extraction company PGNiG?
We certainly hope so. Polish engineers have discovered gas resources in Kirthar in the province of Sindh. Although they are not enormous, their commercial potential is unquestionable. Next month executives from PGNiG will be traveling to Pakistan with proposals on how to best access the gas resources. Unfortunately, after my recent visit to Poland, I am under the impression that, for safety reasons, your government does not want your companies going on our market. While business might still be possible in relation to the Kirthar resources, Poland does not have the urge to cooperate in other places. This would be a huge mistake, as we have great potential.

After the death of a Polish geologist, it’s hard to blame the government for this approach.
It was a traumatic tragedy. Every government would be more cautious, and conclusions should definitely be drawn. It should be borne in mind, however, that this is an exception that should not overshadow business perspectives. Our firm operates in all of Pakistan, including Balochistan, which is considered unsafe. We had never had to interrupt extraction there for a single day due to safety reasons. None of our employees was killed, fortunately. However, Pakistan’s image abroad is completely distorted. There is a problem with providing security on no more than 15 percent of the area. In the remaining territory, it is enough to take the necessary precautions and do risk management. However, several foreign companies have been frightened away. We wouldn’t like Polish companies to join that group—we have enjoyed great cooperation with them. Your extraction sector has been in Pakistan for the last 30-40 years, and is renowned for its effectiveness and professionalism. Your ratings against other foreign companies we cooperate with are great. That is the reason we want to expand our cooperation.

You mentioned expanding ties with Poland to other business sectors. Any specific ones?
Coal mining, for example. We have vast coal resources that could be used as fuel for the power plants we might need to build. But for now, drilling for gas and oil is a priority. And not just in Pakistan. We had already signed an agreement on tightening cooperation, but nothing changed. That is why I decided to avail of the invitation of the president of PGNiG and visited Poland recently to revive relations. Let’s see what results it brings. In my report for the Polish government, I will suggest that cooperation between companies should be changed to cooperation at the government level. Our oil companies have a similar ownership structure. The State Treasury has shares in most of them. That is why, even if new projects are justified in business terms, implementing them may depend on a final decision by the government.

This article was published on May 24, 2010 in Rzeczpospolita daily
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