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Bangladesh eyes fresh round

Offshore and onshore acreage to be up for grabs

Bangladesh is planning within a year to launch its next international licensing round as the energy-hungry nation seeks to plug the growing gas supply-demand deficit.

Both offshore and onshore acreage for exploration will be up for grabs in the next bid exercise, according to State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid.

“We’ve revised the existing model of production sharing contract with an increased gas price to attract international oil companies as the response from them was not positive in the past due to low gas price,” Nasrul said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved revised PSCs for offshore and onshore blocks that offer higher prices for gas exploited.

Energy Secretary Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim said the government would move to invite foreign players to apply for acreage whilst the long-delayed multi-client 2D seismic survey is finally being acquired.

“We’ll separate some of the blocks for bidding while some will be specified for the multi-client survey on [a] priority basis,” he said.

Bangladesh has only awarded four blocks in the last five years.

Compatriots ONGC Videsh and Oil India Limited picked up shallow-water blocks SS-04 and SS-09 and the Santos-KrisEnergy joint venture was awarded shallow-water Block SS-11 from the most recent licensing round in 2014.

South Korea’s Posco Daewoo subsequently secured deep-water Block DS-12 via the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) Act 2010 that allows acreage to be granted without an open tender.

Meanwhile, Nasrul added that Dhaka is currently in talks with neighbour India regarding the potential import of pipeline gas.

“But all will depend on the economic viability of the project as the government’s main priority is to ensure uninterrupted energy supply at affordable prices,” Nasrul said.

Bangladesh has been struggling to realise its ambition of adding land-based liquefied natural gas import facilities to complement its existing floating storage and regasification units.

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