Dr. Gulfraz Ahmed gained his FSc from Government College Rawalpindi in 1959 and won the merit Scholarship for further education. He Joined the Pakistan Military Academy same year and was commissioned in the Corps of
Dr. Gulfraz Ahmed gained his FSc from Government College Rawalpindi in 1959 and won the merit Scholarship for further education. He Joined the Pakistan Military Academy same year and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers in 1962. In 1981, during his selection for promotion to Brigadier, he was assessed to have acquired the highest service credit among his military colleagues.
In 1982, the Gold Medallist and Honours graduate in Civil Engineering Dr. Gulfaraz joined Stanford University California USA for post graduate studies in the field of petroleum engineering. During 1982 -1989 he completed MS and PhD degrees with the distinction of the First Prize in the PhD category Students Paper Contest in 1985 in the USA. His MS thesis and PhD dissertation on enhancing recovery of oil and gas were recognised as very useful research relevant to the needs of the petroleum industry and both works were published as US Department of Energy Research publications.
Leaving highly lucrative offers from international petroleum industry abroad, Dr Ahmed preferred to apply his knowledge in petroleum exploration and production for the well being of Pakistan and returned to steer the national petroleum company Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) in April 1989 as Chairman / CEO and served in this position for over five years up to July 1994.
During his corporate leadership, OGDCL expanded its oil and gas exploration and production activities leading to doubling of its discovered underground oil and gas reserves as well as doubling of production of the same.
In the first year of his leadership, OGDCL was taken off the government budget and made a self-financing entity from July 01, 1989. By reorganizing and restructuring OGDCL on modern commercial lines its profits soared by 6 times and it became a source of revenue to the exchequer.
Dr. Gulfraz Ahmed introduced state of the art technology into the company including the first ever vector computing system in the country, three-dimension seismic data acquisition capability and modern seismic data processing / interpretation facility. With a motivated workforce of over ten thousands including about 1400 professional experts, OGDCL emerged as a major upstream petroleum operator with around US $ 250 million annual exploration and development budget. Of all the heads of OGDCL from its inception to-date Dr Ahmed had the longest stint of 5 years and 3 months.
Dr. Ahmed then founded the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in 1995-1996 as its first Chairman. He developed an appropriate regulatory model to serve all the stakeholders including the public, government, power plant investors and the power utilities and introduced public hearing as a part of transparent procedure. He laid the base by setting a cardinal principle that all future power generation units would be based on the least cost electricity generation.
Dr. Gulfraz Ahmed studied the British regulatory model OFFER through an official visit to UK, the American regulatory model FERC and that of Argentina for developing a transparent, autonomous and effective regulatory framework for Pakistan. In a short tenure of over a year, Dr. Ahmed developed NEPRA into a functioning regulatory body.
From 1996 to end 1999, Dr. Ahmed served as Federal Secretary to the Government of Pakistan in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MPNR). As Federal Secretary, Dr. Ahmed introduced an “Optimal National Energy Strategy for the Decade” aimed at maximizing supply and minimizing cost of primary energy in Pakistan.
Dr. Ahmed redefined and improved upstream petroleum exploration policies, which resulted in the largest area brought under petroleum exploration, highest number of exploratory wells drilled and largest number of oil and gas discoveries made till that time. The discovery of new gas fields (Bhit, Zamzama, Sawan, Mari Deep & Sui Deep) during this period added 50% to remaining underground gas reserves and 100% to gas production in the country.
Dr. Gulfraz Ahmed introduced the policy of production sharing agreement regime for offshore petroleum exploration and exploitation in Pakistan in line the international practice. He laid the base for a down-stream gas regulatory authority (OGRA) through active support of Canadian International Development Authority. Seeing the sagging market share of the state oil marketing company (PSO), he pursued the modernization of its retail outlets and introduced the new vision petrol pumps.
Dr. Ahmed succeeded in reducing the gas losses and thefts to the lowest in history and pursued the policy of replacing the ex-officio chairmen (often the Secretary himself) of the state corporations by accomplished business leaders from the private sector to introduce private sector dynamism and efficiency. As a historic step in great national interest he negotiated and purchased 64% shares of PPL from Burmah Castrol and saved the energy lifeline of the country from going into the hands of uncertain cartels.
From 2003 to 2006 and 2009 to 2010 Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed was Member of the 6th and 7th National Finance Commission representing the province of Balochistan and successfully negotiated the Balochistan case for a fair share in federal revenue by expanding the horizontal distribution formula based on population alone to multiple criteria for justice to all stake-holders through the 7th NFC Award.
It is pertinent to note that Dr Ahmed has no domicile connection with the province but they still showed complete confidence in his commitment to the wellbeing of Balochistan for strengthening federation of Pakistan.
Dr. Ahmed has served as Member Board of Directors of over ten and Chairman Board of Directors of six public / private energy companies and non-governmental organizations from 1998 to 1999 which include PSO, PPL, OGDCL, ARL, SSGCL, SNGPL, HDIP and WWF etc. He has also been Member of the prestigious Board of Trustees of Pakistan Science Foundation for over three years.
Dr Ahmed has been a regular visiting personality at National Defence University Islamabad, National Management College Lahore, Senior Management College Lahore, Civil Services Academy Lahore, National Institute of Management Lahore, National Institute of Management Islamabad, National Institute of Management Peshawar, National Institute of Management Muzaffarabad covering the subjects of energy, fiscal federalism and public policy.
In 2009 Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed was selected as Pakistan Federation Author by Forum of Federations Canada for an international project involving 12 federations of the world including Pakistan. Each federation author has contributed a comprehensive chapter on management of oil and gas resources in its federation and an integrated reference book is being published by Oxford University Press Washington DC through collaboration with the World Bank.