Killings halt MOL production in NE Pakistan
Six MOL workers killed in ambush by unidentified assailants
Hungarian exploration and production company, MOL has suspended its production at the Maramzai oil and gas field in Tal block, situated in Kohat district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the northeast of the Pakistan following the ambush and killing of six of its employees travelling in a convoy late Friday, according to local news reports.
The Lahore-based Daily Times cited a MOL management statement as saying that the six people killed included four guards, one contractor driver and one local labour, they were returning to the Central Processing Facility at the Manzalai field from Marmazai.
“The company staffers have been evacuated from the site and production of both oil and gas from the well has been halted,” an MOL official told Karachi based Express Tribune. MOL officials told the daily that suspension is likely to continue “indefinitely until adequate security is provided to the company’s installations and its personnel”.
The Marmazai field is said to have a daily gas production of 40 million cubic feet and 1,600 barrels. MOL has since withdrawn all its personnel from the well site.
MOL is one of consortium of companies involved in exploration activity in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. It has been operating in the Maramzai field since 1999 and is part of a joint venture in which it has a 10% share of production with the rest jointly belonging to Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Pakistan Holding Private Limited.
Sources told the Express Tribune that MOL had been receiving threats from local tribesmen for quite some time who were disgruntled by the fact that the Hungarian company was not giving them jobs. However fingers are also being pointed at the Taliban operating in the area.
Janos Feher, managing director of the company expressed his sorrow saying: “We all wish we could undo what happened and bring those back who embraced martyrdom in the line of duty.”