DHAKA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Russia’s Gazprom , the world’s largest natural gas company, on Monday proposed exploring for gas in Bangladesh’s onshore fields to cushion an energy crisis that has slowed the country’s economic growth, a senior government official said.
A Gazprom delegation is visiting Bangladesh to conclude negotiations with the government for exploration of oil and gas.
“The firm will invest around $200 million to explore at least 10 wells to increase gas production to meet rising demand,” said the government’s energy secretary, Mohamad Mejbahuddin.
He told Reuters that the firm had assured the Bangladesh government that it would finish its drilling activities by the middle of 2013.
Gazprom also agreed to pay 5 percent as a performance guarantee of the total cost.
Bangladesh’s state energy firm Petrobangla has a plan to increase natural gas production to 2.2 billion cubic feet per day. At present it produces around 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day against demand of more than 2.5 billion.
Gazprom would become the first foreign company to partner with Petrobangla in oil and gas exploration without a production-sharing contract if its proposal is accepted by the government. (Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Jason Neely)