Bangladesh-based Petrobangla has received approval from the cabinet committee on economic affairs to sign an initial agreement with two international oil companies (IOCS) for exploring three shallow sea blocks, four, seven and nine, in the Bay of Bengal.
"After the initial signing, the cabinet committee will approve the signing of production-sharing contract (PSC)," Monsur added.
On 17 December 2012, global tenders were invited to bid for exploring oil and gas prospects in 12 blocks under Offshore Bidding Round 2012.
US-based ConocoPhillips and Indian energy company ONGC took part in the bidding process for exploration of nine blocks; however the oil companies showed interest in only three of them.
As part of the process, ConocoPhillips submitted its tender for block seven while ONGC submitted for blocks four and nine.
Under its exploration programme, ConocoPhilips has offered to invest $23.5m to conduct a 2D-seismic survey of 2,347 line-km, a 3D-seismic survey of a 500km² area and drill one exploration well in block seven.
ONGC has offered to invest $38.4m to conduct a 2D-seismic survey of 2,700 line-km, a 3D-seismic survey of a 200km² area and drill two wells in block four.
The company is also expected to invest $64.8m to conduct a 2D survey of 2,850 line-km, a 3D survey of a 300km² area in block nine and drill three wells.
According to Monsur, the whole documentation process is expected to be completed by September 2013.
ConocoPhillips has already secured two blocks in 2011, but for ONGC this will be the first opportunity to operate in Bangladesh, reported Dhaka Tribune.
Image: Petrobangla will sign an initial agreement for three shallow sea blocks, in the Bay of Bengal. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.