The government is planning to invite international bidding within a year for oil and gas exploration in both onshore and offshore areas of the country, said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Thursday.
He came up with the information while briefing reporters about the programmes chalked out by his ministry to observe the National Energy Security Day on Friday, commemorating the takeover of five gas fields from Shell oil company in 1975 on this day.“We’ve revised the existing mode of production-sharing contract (PSC) with increased gas price to attract international oil companies (IOCs) as the response from them was not positive in the past due to low gas price,” the state minister said.
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved two separate modes of PSCs for offshore and onshore gas blocks in this regard.
Explaining the matter, Energy Secretary Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim said the government has updated the PSC with new terms and conditions to attract the IOCs.
He said the government will simultaneously move for inviting international bidding for oil exploration and conducting 2D seismic survey through multi-client seismic firm.
“We’ll separate some of the blocks for bidding while some will be specified for multi-client survey on priority basis,” he said.
Nasrul Hamid informed that the government wants to utilise modern technology for every source of energy like coal and exploration as part of its efforts to bring efficiency in the energy sector.He said the government in discussions with India to examine the possibility of gas import from India through pipeline as it seems to be difficult to set up land LNG terminal to import gas through large ships due to inadequate depths in the water of the country’s seaports.
“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.
He noted that if the project is found to be viable, the imported gas will be brought to Khulna through a direct pipeline.
The state minister admitted that officials and employees of Titas Gas were asked to submit copies of their tax returns as part of an internal inquiry into their assets.
He also said those will not be made public as tax return is a personal confidential document and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is the legitimate authority to take decision in this regard.
It was told at the press briefing that a seminar will be held at the Petrobangla auditorium in the city on Friday marking the National Energy Security Day.
Besides, rallies and processions will be held at district level on the occasion.