Bangladesh allows 'limited' gas exports to India

Vol 6, PW 24 (12 Feb 03) News in Brief

Unocal, Shell, and others with gas assets in Bangladesh can uncork the champagne bottles.

Bangladesh has agreed to 'limited' exports of natural gas to India. On Monday, 10th February, prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia decided to permit export of up to 500m cubic feet of gas per day.

Energy minister AK.M Mosharaff Hossain tells PETROWATCH, the prime minister's decision will be brought to parliament for ratification next week.

This surprising development ends an agonising wait, not only for foreign oil majors with millions of dollars sunk into exploration but also for gas-hungry India - the only market for Bangladesh gas. Endorsement by parliament is expected to be a formality as Zias four-party coalition has 201 of the 300 seats.

When pressed for a time frame, Hossain added: "It could just take a month or so. It could be really quick now."