Oil & Gas

06 Mar 2024

Bangladesh to Invite Bids for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration

06 Mar 2024  by reuters   
Bangladesh will invite international bidding for oil and gas exploration in 24 blocks in the Bay of Bengal on March 10 in an effort to boost domestic energy production, the chairman of state-owned Petrobangla told Reuters on Tuesday.

Bangladesh has been battling with energy shortages, with its gas reserves fast depleting and a spike in fuel prices following the Ukraine war.

"The deadline for submission of offers for the 24 offshore blocks will be the first week of September and after evaluations, we are hoping to finalise the deals by the end of this year," said Zanendra Nath Sarker.

"We're making plans to reduce supply shortages to keep gas-fired power plants and industries running," he said in an interview with Reuters in his office.

Petrobangla also plans to import 48 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the spot market this year, upon approval from the government, up from 23 cargoes last year, other than cargoes from long-term deals, Sarker said.

Five cargoes from spot market will be imported in April while seven cargoes had been imported over the last two months, he added.

"We have also taken initiatives to drill 100 new gas wells in the country between 2025 and 2028 to boost local production," he said.

The move comes at a time when the South Asian country's gas reserves are set to completely deplete by 2033 if no new major discoveries are found.

Bangladesh has struggled to pay for imported oil and gas because of dwindling local reserves since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, forcing the country to turn last year to the International Monetary Fund for a $4.7 billion bailout.

"The dollar crisis in recent times is a global problem. But the government is giving priority to the energy and power sectors. So it will not be a barrier," Sarker said.

Bangladesh's offshore remains largely unexplored despite the settlement of a dispute in favour of Dhaka with neighbouring Myanmar and India over the maritime boundary.

Two shallow water blocks are under contract for exploration with a joint venture of ONGC Overseas Limited and Oil India Limited where drilling has recently begun, officials said.


More News