Sunday, 02 Jan 2011
Bangladesh invites ONGC to explore gas in restive hill region
Energy starved Bangladesh invited proposals from global energy giants, including India's ONGC to explore natural gas in its insurgency hit southeastern rugged Chittagong hills.
Chief of the state-run Petrobangla Hossain Mansur told PTI that "We have invited expression of interest from the foreign companies for carrying out exploration activities in the region.”
He added that Oil and Natural Gas Commission of India , Sinopec and CNOOC of China, PTTEP of Thailand, Petronas of Malaysia were contacted for talks while other intending parties too were welcome with their EoIs.
Energy experts and geologists said Chittagong Hill Tracts, which makes up one-tenth of Bangladesh, earlier could not be explored as the region witnessed a two-decade long tribal insurgency demanding regional autonomy until a landmark 1997 peace deal.
Mr Mansur however said that Petrobangla did not expect a huge reserve in the region which witnessed many tectonic ups and downs over the millennium but believed there were recoverable reserves in certain pockets of the hilly region bordering Indian and Myanmar.
(Sourced from ET)