Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (Bapex) has taken the initiative to work jointly with State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) to explore viable oil and gas fields across Bangladesh.
Confirming the matter, a senior Bapex official stated that Bangladesh is set to sign an agreement with Azerbaijan this year.
Sources from Bapex revealed that SOCAR recently answered a call for tenders for conducting drilling operations at natural gas wells in Bangladesh.
Prices put forth by the firm have been taken into consideration by Bapex, so Bangladesh is planning to work with SOCAR for gas-oil exploration.
An insider from Petrobangla, the state-owned national oil company of Bangladesh, said: “If Bapex rents a rig [drilling machine] for oil-gas exploration, it would cost around $10 million.
“But Bapex already owns five rigs and using them will significantly lower the total cost. SOCAR has set their price for oil-gas extraction at $11 million.”
Russian company Gazprom is currently drilling 15 natural gas wells across Bangladesh. The firm set their prices at around $18 million, which is higher than SOCAR. Gazprom also has a habit of outsourcing their work to another firm named Arial.
Addressing the matter, a senior Petrobangla official said: “SOCAR’s price for oil-gas extraction is comparatively low.”
The firm and Bapex are engaged in discussions about what kind of support SOCAR can provide to Bangladesh.
“A nine-member delegation has already visited Azerbaijan to discuss the deal,” he added.
The Bangladeshi delegation, led by Senior Secretary of Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Md Shahidul Haque, visited Azerbaijan on January 26.
Energy Secretary Nazimuddin Chowdhury and Bapex Managing Director Naushad Islam were part of the team among other senior officials.
Bapex sources added that the deal between Bangladesh and Azerbaijan will be signed by the above mentioned state owned companies. The senior officials of the sector concerned are satisfied with the discussions held with SOCAR representatives so far.
According to sources, a delegation from Azerbaijan will visit Bangladesh this year, and the oil-gas exploration deal will be finalized through detailed discussions at that time.
Bapex had recently made a deal with the Bangladesh government to drill three new gas wells at a cost of $33 million. The gas wells are– Semutang Dakkhin 1, Motherganj 1, and Begumganj 4.
This article was first published on bangaltribune.com