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Thursday, 08 May 2008

Offshore gas exploration

Bdnews24.com

The government is determined to sign deals with oil and gas companies for exploration of new offshore gas fields by October to meet the country's growing energy needs, an energy official said Wednesday.

Muqtadir Ali, a director of the government-run Petrobangla, said one domestic and six international companies from countries including the United States and China, have taken part in the bidding to explore gas fields in the Bay of Bengal.

The government called an international bidding in February, and Petrobangla opened the bid documents on Wednesday to complete evaluation of the proposals in three weeks for a final decision, Ali said.

The selected companies will drill exploration wells and conduct seismic surveys after the deals are signed, he said. The Houston, US-based Conoco-Phillips, Australia's Santos International, Longwoods Resources (a US-China joint venture), Korea International Oil Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corp, known as CNOOC, Comtrack Services and Tullow are among the players that have joined the bidding. "We are satisfied with the response," Ali said, as he unveiled the bid details.

Currently Bangladesh, with about 15 trillion cubic feet (425 billion cubic metres) of proven and recoverable gas reserves, is facing at least 100 million cubic feet of gas shortages a day.

Officials and experts say the crisis will aggravate in the near future. The nation has only one offshore gas field, which is managed by the Edinburgh, Scotland-based Cairn Energy. It has been producing gas from the Sangu plant in the Bay of Bengal since 1998.

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