Dhaka: Bangladesh is set to offer again offshore gas blocks "disputed" with neighboring India in next month`s bidding round for oil and gas exploration by international oil companies.
A Petrobangla official said state-owned Petrobangla has decided to include the disputed blocks for offer as it expects this would help establish its rights over the disputed blocks.
"Besides, it is now `impossible` to offer dispute-free blocks in the western part of the Bay of Bengal bordering India as we don`t know for sure which blocks are dispute free," the official said.
He said the number disputed blocks to be offered might be over half a dozen, and the contracts for these blocks would include a clause saying bidders were entitled to exploration rights only if the dispute is resolved in Bangladesh`s favor.
The total number of offshore gas blocks to be offered might be over a dozen, he said adding, the number is yet to be finalized.
In the February 2008 bidding round, state-owned Petrobangla had offered a total of 28 offshore gas blocks including the disputed gas blocks, but only managed to ink a production sharing contract with ConocoPhillips for a portion of two disputed deepwater blocks on June 16, 2011.
Of the total 28 blocks offered in 2008, 27 were reportedly disputed as India and Myanmar had protested the awarding of these blocks.
India claimed 10 blocks as disputed, while Myanmar claimed the remaining 17 blocks as disputed.
BDST: 1551 HRS, July 18, 2012
Edited by: Shahin Afroz, Newsroom Editor
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