After pulling out from the deep-sea block 10 and 11, the US-based energy major ConocoPhillips has expressed its interest in getting blocks DS-12, DS-16, and DS-21.
The Managing Director of ConocoPhillips Bangladesh, Tomas Early, told The Daily Observer that his company wished to continue discussion with the government on block 10 and 11 in order to maintain the Production Sharing Contract (PSC).
ConocoPhillips on Monday decided to pull out from DS-08-10 and DS-08-11 in the Bay of Bengal for, what it said, non-viable prospects.
Energy expert Prof Tamim told The Daily Observer that the government should collect all data from the oil and gas blocks by conducting 2D and 3D surveys. If the government contains data it can negotiate with the IOCs prudently. Since the government has no data about the block 10 and 11 the Conoco took the decision as per its wish.
"No one can measure gas reserves by conducting 2D survey. As far I know in blocks 10 and 11 the Conoco drove only 2D survey," he said.
ConocoPhillips was awarded the blocks in the offshore gas block bidding in 2008 although it won a total of eight blocks. The government had to cancel the bidding for six blocks due to disputes over maritime boundary with Myanmar and India.
In its proposal, the (joint venture) JV of the US-based Conoco and Norwegian Statoil firm also vowed to carry out a 3,412 line-kilometre two dimensional seismic survey in block DS-12, 2,775 line-kilometre survey in DS-16 and 3,376 line-kilometre survey in block DS-21.
The price of gas from the two deep water blocks, that ConocoPhillips decided to surrender Monday, was linked 100 per cent to HSFO prices, with the floor price set at $70 per tonne with a ceiling of $180 per tonne.
This is the second time that an international oil company (IOC) refused to sign PSC with the country upon being selected finally for the blocks.
In April, the ConocoPhillips refused to sign the contract for block-7 in shallow water, an official of ConocoPhillips said that the terms and conditions of PSC for the shallow-water block were not favourable.
When the government decided to sign contract with ConocoPhillips, the National Committee on Protection of Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, comprising academicians, students, professionals and media activists, were holding a series of demonstrations to protest the proposed deal.
Several left parties and experts were also against the deal, saying Bangladesh would lose ownership of the blocks once the contract was signed.
Under the PSC, ConocoPhillips will have the authority to export 80 per cent of gas, and Petrobangla will get the rest, which will have to be carried to the shore at its own cost - not an economically viable proposition for Bangladesh, in any case.
The then Petrobangla Chairman, Hussain Mansur, told The Daily Observer that under the PSC, the Petrobangla will be able to get the first priority for buying gas. If the government does not buy then the Conoco will export gas.