Petroleum Ministry likely to appoint two members at OGRA

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The Ministry of Petroleum is considering appointing two of its senior most officers on the vacant positions of Member Oil and Member Gas at the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), an informed source said.

The ministry is considering to depute its own officers as following the regular procedure may take weeks if not months, the source said adding that it would help addressing important oil and gas issues struck at the authority.

OGRA is dysfunctional, as its two key posts of Member Oil and Member Gas are vacant. The position of Member Oil is vacant for the last two years, as the government failed to appoint any suitable candidate. Similar is the case for Member Gas, the position is vacant and the government is not able to fill the seat.

The regulatory agency has at present a full time chairperson and Member Finance. However, the authority is considered complete when there are at least three members. Important decisions like finalization of gas tariff could be only made if the authority is complete.

The source said that the Petroleum Ministry had raised the issue of vacant posts and other issues in OGRA with the Cabinet Division in the past but these were not addressed on priority. After the handing over of the administrative control of OGRA back to the Petroleum Ministry, the ministry is working on a number of issues to resolve them on urgent basis.

OGRA could only function professionally if at least its important technical positions like Member Oil and Member Gas are filled with professionally competent people. With a number of LNG pipeline projects in consideration the ministry wants to fill these seats immediately.

The government is unable to appoint any professional on the key post of Member Oil for the last two years while it has advertised the post many times. The post of Member Gas was advertised three months back but no appointment was made.

It is important to mention that the posts of Member Oil and Member Gas have been filled through the Petroleum Ministry technical staff in the past. After the handing over of OGRA to the Cabinet Division, these positions were advertised and even then the Petroleum Ministry officers got these seats on merit.