After looking at the West where he was on a three-nation tour to Iran and Gulf last week, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan looked East when he explored India’s participation in oil and gas infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, Indo-Bangla oil and gas pipeline and finalised India’s participation in the two downstream projects in the neighbouring country during a three-day visit there.
Hoping to enter Bangladesh’s largely unexplored hydro-carbon sector where India’s entry was once barred by the erstwhile BNP-Jamaat regime in Dhaka, Pradhan explored opportunities during his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinaand her senior advisers.
His visit marked the signing of an MoU on the broad aspects of cooperation in downstream oil and gas sector opportunities in Bangladesh between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and BPC. Pradhan visited the port city of Chittagong on Tuesday where a contract was signed for the installation of second unit of Eastern Refinery Ltd. between Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and Engineers India Ltd. (EIL).
What was unthinkable few years back is slowly becoming a reality with Indo-Bangla energy partnership gaining momentum. Companies from both countries are collaborating in the hydrocarbon sector ranging from trade in petroleum products, exploration work and consultancy services. India also supplies 2200 MT High Speed Diesel (HSD) to Bangladesh from Siliguri Marketing Terminal of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) to Parbatipur Depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC). India is planning to continue with the supply of HSD in a sustainable manner, Pradhan assured Bangla leadership during this visit.
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd wants to build an LPG bottling plant jointly with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation. After meeting domestic demand in Bangladesh, the rest of the produced gas will be exported to Tripura. Bangladesh is the seventh largest producer of natural gas in Asia. Geologists believe the country’s maritime exclusive economic zone holds one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the Asia-Pacific. Bangladesh has 27 exploratory hydro-carbon blocks in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
During his meeting with Hasina, Pradhan shared details of Indian hydrocarbon infrastructure project proposals in Bangladesh, including setting up of LPG import terminal at Chittagong by IOCL and sought favourable consideration for creating win-win situation for both sides. Pradhan also discussed with Hasina the ‘Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline’ and called it as an important project for both countries. The Bangla PM sought Indianinvestments in the Special Economic Zones.Share This