The government has finally appointed British firm Wood Mackenzie as a consultant to evaluate the assets and liabilities of Chevron in Bangladesh as part of a move to buy the US oil major's three gas fields in Bangladesh.
Confirming the matter, Md Kamruzzaman, managing director of state-owned Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd (BGFCL), said that a contract has been signed with Wood Mackenzie last week to award it the evaluation job. The firm will analyse both financial and technical aspects of the US company's assets in Bangladesh, UNB reports.
BGFCL, a subsidiary of the state-owned Petrobangla, was given the responsibility to invite a bid to hire a consultant to assess the US oil major's local assets.
BGFCL is the largest state-owned gas production company which now operates six fields, including Titas, Habiganj, Bakhrabad, Narsingdi and Meghna.It has vast experience in hydrocarbon production and operation of gas fields.
Kamruzzaman informed that Wood Mackenzie, based in Edinburgh of Scotland, will get 40 days from the notice of starting its job. Before the start of its job, the Petrobangla will provide necessary data to facilitate its evaluation of Chevron assets in Bangladesh.
In mid-October last year, the government expressed its interest to buy Chevron's assets in Bangladesh following the US company's move to sell out those.
Against the backdrop of oil price fall in the international market, Chevron decided to sell some of its assets in South and East Asian region. Some international media reports said the company has been asking for $2 billion from the international buyers to sell its assets in Bangladesh.
At present, Chevron has been operating three gas fields in Bangladesh which are located in Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulvibazar in the greater Sylhet region.
Available data of Petrobangla shows the three gas fields produce about 58.4 percent (1550 mmcfd) of total gas produced in the country while 38.1 percent is produced by the state-owned companies' fields and remaining 3.5 percent by another foreign company Tullow's Bargora field.
Of the Chevron fields, Bibiyana, the country's largest, produces 1240.2 mmcfd gas while Moulvibazar field produces 270.7 mmcfd gas and Jalalabad 38.9 mmcd gas. Besides, the data shows these three fields also produce about 10865.64 bbl of condensates a day.
Earlier, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid told UNB that the government has planned to initiate discussions with Chevron to buy the local assets.
Petrobangla officials said the government has to pay a bill of about $36 million a month for only Bibiyana field's gas purchase.
According to Petrobangla, considering the present production status, the Bibiyana gas field's production will start depletion from 2018 which means the field's gas reserve now stands at the last stage. In such a situation, the company is trying to sell out its gas fields.