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ExxonMobil must participate in bidding for offshore oil, gas exploration: Nasrul

ExxonMobil must participate in bidding for offshore oil, gas exploration: Nasrul

 

US-based oil-gas exploration giant ExxonMobil is required to partake in the bidding process to conduct offshore oil and gas exploration in Bangladesh's deep seas, said the Minister of State for Energy Nasrul Hamid on Tuesday (20 February).

"ExxonMobil expressed its interest in exploring oil and gas in 15 blocks within the deep sea. We've advised them to participate in the bidding process. The American company's decision to participate in the bidding was not immediately known. They will inform us later," he told the media.

Having expressed interest in oil and gas exploration in 15 blocks of Bangladesh's deep sea on two occasions last year, a representative team from the American multinational company has convened in Dhaka for discussions this time.

On Tuesday (20 February), the State Minister of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, held a meeting with the ExxonMobil team at the Secretariat to discuss matters pertaining to the allocation of blocks in the Bay of Bengal and other issues concerning electricity, fuel, and mineral resources.

Officials said two representatives from ExxonMobil met with the state minister.

According to sources from the energy division, the government is not willing to allow any company to work in sea blocks under special provisions without tenders.

Reportedly, the government does not want to allocate more than two to four blocks to a single entity.

Petrobangla has completed all the work to invite international bidding to allocate 26 blocks for offshore oil-gas exploration in the sea.

Petrobangla Chairman Janendra Nath Sarkar said, "The tender will be issued by next month with a span of six months for submissions.

Meanwhile, amendments have already been made to the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) to attract international companies. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the model PSC and other related activities in July of the previous year.

In March last year, ExxonMobil expressed interest in offshore oil and gas exploration in the Bay of Bengal. At that time, they had applied for the lease of 15 blocks in the deep sea. Another letter was submitted by the American company on 16 July, proposing an investment ranging from $25-30 billion for deep-sea exploration.

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Published: 21-02-2024

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