POST TIME: 29 January, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Petrobangla backs IOC staff claim

Petrobangla backs 
IOC staff claim

Petrobangla feels that US oil giant Chevron should distribute 5 per cent of its profit among its staff. Chevron Bangladesh Employees’ Union (CBEU) filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) Division, complaining that Chevron Bangladesh has not shared a due part of its profit with its employees. The case is under trial.
Petrobangla General Manager Nazrul Islam has already sent a letter supporting Chevron employees. “There is no problem in giving them a profit-sharing benefit,” he said.
The HC asked the government in December to explain within two weeks why it should not be directed to take legal action against Chevron Bangladesh. The employees then urged the HC to order the government to take necessary action against Chevron for not sharing with them a part of its profit which accumulated from 2006 to 2013.
“Chevron is supposed to share 5 per cent of its net profits with its workers and officials under the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006,” said a leader of the CBEU yesterday. “We know there is no problem in sharing the profit. All multinational companies (MNPs), such as Grameenphone and Robi, do it. But Chevron is not giving the employees this benefit,” he added.
CBEU leaders said that around 530 among Chevron's 570 employees in Bangladesh are fighting for the benefit.
Sources told The Independent that Chevron has been making huge profits over the last few years. In 2015-2016, the US-based company made a profit of USD 391 million. In 2014-2015, the profit was USD 362 million.
Following the production contract, PSC Petrobangla pays taxes on behalf of Chevron. In 2015-2016, Petrobangla paid Tk. 681 crore in taxes against Chevron’s corporate profit. In 2014-2015, the tax was Tk. 362 crore.
This year, Chevron got USD 110 million for operating costs from the government.
According to Petrobangla, Chevron shares only 30 per cent of the cost.
Chevron had earlier sought about USD 2 billion from the sale of natural gas assets in Bangladesh to counter an energy-price slump. But the government agreed to buy the assets only at their actual value. The company then remained mum, claimed sources.
Chevron, which is the largest international oil company (IOC) in Bangladesh’s energy sector, operates the Bibiyana, Jalalabad, and Moulvibazar fields and sells all the production to state oil company Petrobangla. According to its website, the company produces 1,551 MMCF of gas per day, which is more than 55 per cent of the country’s total gas production.