Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB) – The proposal to award the contract to a foreign firm for conducting multi-client seismic survey in the country’s maritime areas has finally received the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
At a meeting on Wednesday, it also gave go-ahead to a proposal of the Ministry of Science and Technology to get nuclear fuel supply from Russian TVEL Joint Stock Company under the state-to-state cooperation agreement between Bangladesh and Russia.
The Cabinet body, with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair, gave the approval in principle to the tender proposal of the TGS-SCHLUMBERGER JV for the “2D Non-Exclusive Multi-Client Seismic Survey”, said Nasima Begum, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division, while briefing reports after the meeting.
The approval came after a long time on completion of the selection process where the TGS-SCHLUMBERGER JV, a Norwegian joint venture, stood first getting highest 94.04 marks in the bid evaluation process among the four international bidders vying for the job.
The official said the TGS-SCHLUMBERGER JV will conduct the survey at its own cost to collect the seismic data from the country’s maritime areas and share its data free of cost with state-owned Petrobangla.
But the TGS-SCHLUMBERGER will have the right to sell the data to interested international companies who will want to participate in the hydrocarbon exploration in the Bangladesh offshore areas.
Petrobangla, the country’s hydrocarbon corporation, first invited the tender for the job in February 2015 where the same company was selected for the job. But the selection process was cancelled and re-tender was invited in December 2015.
In the second-time bidding, the TGS-SCHLUMBERGER again came out to be the first winner. But it took more than four years to get approval of the Cabinet body.
Bangladesh has been trying to award its offshore gas blocks to international oil companies since its settlement of maritime boundary disputes with neighbouring India and Myanmar, but the efforts were not very successful.
Many officials blamed the lack of seismic data of the gas blocks for the failure to attract the international oil companies for the exploration in the blocks.
About the nuclear fuel supply, the Cabinet Division official said the Russian offer was approved under a framework agreement regarding 2400 MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project which is being constructed by Russian state company Rosatom.
Nasima Begum said both the proposals on multi-client survey and nuclear fuel supply will come to the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase for final approval.
At that time, the cost of the nuclear fuel can be learnt, she added.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved a proposal for import of 50,000 tonnes of wheat through international quotation.
Singapore-based company Agrocorp won the bid offering a rate of $267.98 per tonne.