As many as eight foreign consulting firms with experience of having worked and brokered deals in the oil and gas industry, are interested to bag a role advising Petrobangla and its need to amend its Model Production Sharing Contract (PSC) if it really wants to attract the international oil companies to the country’s offshore gas blocks.
According to official sources, five of the eight firms which submitted their respective Expressions of Interest (EOI) to Petrobangla are from the United Kingdom while one each from India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
They said Petrobangla received their proposals on November 21, the deadline of submission of the EOI.
“Now we will scrutinise their proposals to pick one of them to do the job,” said Shahnewaz Parvez, General Manager (Contract) of Petrobangla.
He said the consultant will mainly help the state-owned hydrocarbon corporation further amend the Model PSC 2019, in order to attract international oil companies (IOCs) amid the volatile international fuel market.
He noted that the principal upstream energy body will appoint an experienced foreign consultant to draw up the amendments that would convince the IOCs to invest in Bangladesh’s offshore gas fields.
Read: Petrobangla to amend Model PSC further to attract IOCs in offshore gas exploration
Official sources said the recent excessive hike in petroleum fuel, especially that of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) has prompted the government to go for further amending the existing PSC, to attract the IOCs to invest in Bangladesh’s offshore gas blocks.
The country has a total of 48 blocks of which 26 are located in offshore areas and 22 onshore. Of the 26 offshore blocks, 11 are located in shallow sea (SS) water while 15 are located in deep sea (DS) water areas.
Of these, 24 offshore gas blocks remain open for IOCs while two blocks —SS-04 and SS-09—are under contract with a joint venture of ONGC Videsh Ltd and Oil India Ltd where drilling works have recently started.
The government had last amended the Model PSC in mid-2019, whereby the price of gas for any participating IOC, that is, the price at which they would sell the gas to the government, was raised to $5.5 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) for shallow water blocks, and $7.25 per MCF for gas extracted from its deep sea blocks.