PPL AGM approves 20 percent cash dividend

Karachi: The 70th Annual General Meeting of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) was held online on October 25. Members approved financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, together with the auditor’s report. PPL registered a profit-after-tax of Rs. 52.4 billion, the second highest for the Company and a final cash dividend of 20 percent on ordinary and 15 percent on convertible preference shares was also approved.

In his opening remarks, Chairman, Board of Directors, PPL Shahab Rizvi highlighted that despite the global recession owing to the COVID-9 pandemic, PPL delivered a robust performance during 2020-21. The Board remained fully committed and engaged in governance and oversight of the Company’s strategy and operations. He thanked all stakeholders along with the Company’s staff for their perseverance and commitment to deliver in these challenging times.

For his part, MD and CEO PPL Moin Raza Khan highlighted that even though the COVID-19 global pandemic adversely affected businesses, the Company has shown remarkable resilience, while operating under the looming shadow of this pandemic for almost two years, by managing to not only deliver uninterrupted energy to the national grid but also achieving a historic milestone of winning an exploration block in Abu Dhabi Bid Round. “PPL led a consortium of ‘big four’ national E&P companies to secure the country’s first-ever concession in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,” he added. “Alhamdulillah, PPL has earned the 2nd highest profit-after-tax in its history. We have also managed to improve collections from our customers, amid aggravating circular debt in the country, through highest-level engagement with them”, Khan noted.

PPL’s daily production share stood around 852 MMscf gas equivalent during 2020-21, a decrease from the previous year due to significantly lower offtake by GENCO II from Kandhkot. Nonetheless, the Company achieved a reserves replacement ratio of 108 percent with effective field development activities.

Production commenced from Benari X-1, Shah Bandar Block and Hadaf X-1 as well as commissioning of GPF- IV Phase II, Gambat South that collectively added ~35 MMscfd gas to the supply network. Besides, PPL drilled seven development wells — three in operated and four in partner-operated fields. The Company is geared to enhance its production share through commissioning of Dhok Sultan Oil Handling and Zafir Processing facilities in the near future together with optimizing production from mature fields.

The Company’s exploration efforts remained focused on reserve replenishment through exploratory drilling in conventional and frontier areas. Six exploratory wells — three each in operated and partner-operated areas — were drilled. Besides Balochistan, the Company is targeting a new frontier play in Sindh at Khipro East X-1, Khipro East Block. With this, a discovery Mamikhel South -1, was made in partner-operated Tal Block.

Talking about PPL’s diversification strategy — aimed at de-risking revenue streams against the backdrop of escalating circular debt— Khan shared that Baryte, Lead and Zinc project has made considerable headway and slated to be executed soon through PPL’s mining arm, Bolan Mining Enterprises, a joint venture between PPL and Government of Balochistan. Besides, PPL has submitted Expression of Interest for obtaining mining rights in two blocks in Balochistan with an aim to contribute a significant portion of the Company’s topline in the long run.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of staff and contractors remained a priority. Stringent safety protocols were put in place, with alternating work from home and office. PPL also organized vaccination drives for staff, dependents and contractors as well as individuals across the country to support government’s efforts through in-house Mobile Vaccination Teams and non-governmental organizations with an estimated reach of over 125000 individuals.

Khan shared that PPL made the largest-ever annual CSR contribution of over Rs. 2 billion during 2020-21 to drive need-based, long term development projects for deserving communities in operational and urban areas. The Company has also received the top Corporate Philanthropy Award for highest volume of donations for 15 consecutive years.

Moving forward, PPL aims to augment its exploration efforts to tap unexplored reserves in frontier/ offshore areas and international ventures as well as proactively pursue opportunities for farm-in/out along with participating in bid rounds to expand exploration acreage both within and outside the country. PPL will also continue to explore growth prospects in the energy sector, especially mid-stream oil and gas, as part of its diversification strategy while expanding industrial scale mining operations in Balochistan, one of the richest mineralized, metallogenic belts in the world.

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