POST TIME: 1 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Chevron talks with Petrobangla today

Chevron talks with Petrobangla today

Representatives of Chevron Global Ventures Ltd will meet Petrobangla officials today to discuss the latter's demand that the US-based oil giant continues to stay in Bangladesh. The meeting was fixed after Chevron tried to leave Bangladesh by selling its shares to Chinese joint venture Himalaya Energy Co. Ltd.

The meeting will be held three months after a letter was issued to Petrobangla with a seven-point charter of demands. The letter says fulfillment of the demands would allow a smoother operation.

“We'll meet Chevron officials on Thursday. But I don’t know any specific agenda that would be discussed. I'm sure the meeting will  focus on the conditions that they forwarded in relation to their stay in Bangladesh” Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah told The Independent yesterday.

Chevron Bangladesh president Kevin Lyon and other senior officials will attend the meeting .

One of the targets of Chevron is to get its USD 400 million compression project approved to maximise the recovery of reserves and production from the Bibiyana gas field.

Petrobangla officials are currently not interested in this project as  as the field’s production is going well.

Chevron is also interested in purchasing six bulletproof vehicles for security purposes—this could cost crores of taka. The US company wants a 10-year extension of 12, 13, and 14 blocks’ production sharing contract (PSC). These include the production periods of Jalalabad, Moulvibazar and Bibiyana gas fields till 2034.

Government officials said getting such an extension would not be easy as the fields are valuable for the country.

Chevron also wants Worker’s Welfare Fund (WPPF)-related payments and legal fees to be included in the cost recovery payment. It has sought a prompt and fair resolution of outstanding cost recovery audit exceptions and reasonable future cost recovery audits following the PSC process.

Chevron’s three gas fields—Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulvibazar—comprise 52 per cent of the total 2,700 mmcf gas now being produced by the country’s 22 gas fields.

On April 24, 2017, Chevron had announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Chevron Global Ventures Ltd, has entered into an agreement to sell the shares of its wholly-owned indirect subsidiaries operating in Bangladesh to Himalaya Energy.

Himalaya is owned by a consortium comprising the state-run China ZhenHua Oil, which is a subsidiary of China’s defence industry conglomerate NORINCO, and investment firm CNIC Corp, a Chinese government platform. In its last letter sent to Petrobangla, the US company stated: “Chevron values its relationship with Petrobangla and the Government of Bangladesh. Looking ahead, there are several commercial challenges that we will want Petrobangla to resolve.”