Cabinet approves Shahid Salim Khan as MD, OGDCL

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has finally approved the regular appointment of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited’s (OGDCL) managing director and chief executive officer and has now approved the appointment of Shahid Salim Khan.

According to sources familiar with the development, federal cabinet in its meeting held on Tuesday had approved the appointment of Shahid Salim Khan as Managing Director and CEO of OGDCL for a period of three years. They said that OGDCL was run on acting charge basis during the entire rule of former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) government. However, incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to appoint a new MD and CEO of OGDCL on a regular basis, said sources. 

Shahid Salim Khan is a Petroleum Engineer having Masters of Sciences in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California, L.A., USA, with more than 35 years of diversified working experience in various disciplines of exploration and production (E&P), industry development including HSE, petroleum engineering, drilling, production operations (surface and subsurface), G&G, field development, community relations and community development.

Besides having engineering and management skills, he has also worked with Pakistan Petroleum Exploration and Production Companies Association (PPEPCA) as their Senior Vice Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineer (SPE) in various capacities including Chairman Pakistan Chapter and as Chairman of Annual Technical Conference, which is organized every year.

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Prior to Shahid Salim Khan’s appointment, the state-owned oil and gas giant (OGDCL) had been run by acting and caretaker heads as former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani had appointed Masood Siddiqui as MD and CEO in June 2012. However, the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso had sacked Masood Siddiqui unceremoniously in May 2013 over the loss worth Rs320 million caused by the pilferage of High-Speed Diesel (HSD) at Tando Alam logistics, mentioned in the charge sheet prepared by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources.

Documents available with Profit said that the position of managing director was advertised in both local and international newspapers back in February 2018. The initially shortlisted candidates included Shehryar Lodhi, Shahid Salim Khan, Ahsan Khan, and Irteza Ali Qureshi. And, the names of these four candidates were shared with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for necessary due diligence.

Both the agencies raised concerns about the suitability and reputation of Shehryar Lodhi and Irteza Qureshi, However, the names of two candidates including Shahid Salim Khan, and Ahsan Khan were cleared by both agencies, said documents available with Profit.

Following the clearance of IB and ISI, Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) solicited approval of the prime minister whether the nomination of two cleared candidates may be sent to the cabinet for consideration or the process for an appointment may be started afresh. And, the prime minister’s office was pleased to direct that the names of Shahid Salim Khan and Ahsan Khan may be placed before the cabinet for giving its concurrence to select one of them as the new managing director, said documents.

OGDCL is a non-funded publicly listed company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2017 and established to undertake oil and gas exploration activities and projects in the country. The government, directly and indirectly, holds 85.03 per cent equity shares in the company.

According to documents, as per Rule 592 of the Public Sector Companies Corporate Governance Rules 2013, as amended up to 2017, the board shall evaluate candidates based on fit and proper criteria and guidelines specified by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for the appointment of the chief executive and recommend at least three candidates to the federal government for its concurrence.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]
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