Vol 3, PW 10 (09 Jun 99) News in Brief

The US oil major Occidental is pulling out of Bangladesh as part of an asset swap with Unocal.

Oxys assets in Bangladesh include Blocks 12, 13 and 14 in the north east of the country, in which Unocal already has a 50% working interest. Nigel Hopkinson, an Oxy General Manager, said the company wants to focus on its US and Middle East acreage.

Oxy will acquire Unocals interests in Yemen. The deal was signed on 27 May 99.

Oxys relations with Bangladesh never recovered following a blow-out at its Mugrachhara prospect in the northeastern Maulavi Bazaar district near Sylhet (Block 13) on 15 June 1997. The blow-out and resultant blaze laid waste vast tracts of virgin forest and tea gardens, causing damage estimated by the Bangladesh Tea Board at $116m.

Bangladesh held Oxy liable for the blow-out and demanded compensation.