HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTICES AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION ISSUES IN OIL AND GAS SECTOR OF PAKISTAN
The dependence of modern economies of the world on the sources of energy is a well known fact. In Pakistan we get the first hand experience of almost fortnightly fluctuations in the prices of fuel (normally to the higher side) and the consequent impact on our own pockets. With the increase in population and overall standards of living, the hunger for petroleum products is continuously on the rise. The dependence of developed economies on the imported oil is so acute that powerful nations of the world use every means at their disposal to gain control over its sources in a bid to assure constant supply of petroleum products to quench the insatiable thirst of their domestic markets. For countries like Pakistan, where the production of these vital drivers of economy is overtaken by the demand and the situation is likely to worsen in foreseeable future as the gulf between the ever increasing demand and the rapidly depleting domestic supply is widening at an alarming rate. This situation further tilts the already tilted balance of trade in favor of imports with obvious ramifications both for the fragile national economy and the individual purchasing power. Under these conditions the role played by the domestic oil and gas sector assumes critical importance.
The Oil and Gas sector consists of three business streams, namely, the Upstream, the Midstream and the Downstream businesses. The Upstream companies comprise the Exploration and Production companies (E&P). As the name suggests that the companies in this segment of oil and gas business perform the highly sophisticated job of exploring and then developing the oil and gas fields. Business success in this segment needs a high level of technological sophistication and very highly skilled employees capable of performing extremely specialized tasks under demanding field conditions (both inland and offshore). The Upstream E&P companies are of two types , the Operating companies and the Services Providers. The Operating companies do the job of Exploration and development of reservoirs and in process assume huge financial risks; the Services Providers on the other hand provide specialized technical services to the operating companies and assist these companies in their efforts to perform the task of exploration and production. The companies operating in the Midstream segment of Oil and gas sector do the job of transporting and refining the oil recovered by the Upstream companies. The companies involved with the Downstream segment of the business deal in the marketing and sales areas of the refined petroleum products.
I have chosen three Pakistani Upstream Operating companies for the purpose of my research. These companies include Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Mari Gas Company Limited (MCGL) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL). The purpose of choosing the local companies in the Upstream segment of the Oil and Gas Sector for the research is that success of the companies in this business area most notably rests on the capability of their technical employees like Geologists, Geophysists, Drillers and the Petroleum Engineers and their ability to retain these otherwise highly migratory technical employees. The reason for narrowing the focus on national companies is the absolute denial of information by the Multinational Companies with regards to their operations and practices.
The basic premise for studying the Human Resource Management Practices (HR) and Employee Retention issues at OGDCL, Mari Gas Company Limited Pakistan(MGCL) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) is to assess the importance being attached to these vital aspects by the organizations concerned and to develop an understanding of the relationship between the overall manner in which a company treats its employees and the subsequent impact on the...
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