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Saturday, February 25, 2006

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HEADLINE
 
Seismic survey of Tullow in Bay
Petrobangla hopes govt may withdraw suspension order
Doulot Akter Mala
2/25/2006
 

          The Petrobangla hopes that the government might withdraw the suspension order soon against the seismic survey of Tullow, an Irish oil and gas company, in the Bay of Bengal.
The company was allowed to explore gas in the Bay of Bengal December 29 last at an estimated cost of US$ 7.0 million, under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC).
The government stopped the exploration of the foreign company on February 9, apprehending an adverse impact on the environment of the St. Martin's island and its adjacent areas.
"We are waiting for a positive response from the environment ministry at the next meeting scheduled for Sunday", Petrobangla Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told the FE Friday.
He said the environment ministry at a meeting last Sunday formed a technical committee, headed by the Director General of the Department of Environment (DoE) to make an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the exploration of the Tullow in Saint Martin's areas.
The environment ministry will take further decision after evaluation of the report, he said.
The Irish company, Tullow Bangladesh Limited, was given blocks 17 and 18 in the Bay of Bengal and Saint Martin's island for exploration of gas and oil.
Environment ministry halted the seismic survey in St. Martin's, a coral island, apprehending adverse effect on the ecological balance in St. Martin's and its adjacent areas, an environment ministry official said.
The government could allow the exploration of Tullow in other areas in the Bay if the company did not disturb ecological balance, he said.
Tullow officials claimed that with the approval of the DoE the company began the seismic survey in this area and already invested a handsome amount of money.
The DoE said that Tullow had failed to submit work plan on monitoring and protection of the environment in the island and its surrounding areas as per the PSC.
The company was asked to monitor the adverse effect of its activities on Marine lives and coral reefs, but the foreign company did not follow the guideline as per the agreement, sources concerned said.
Petrobangla Chairman said the company has already brought machinery and mobilised foreign and local human resources to conduct the survey.
"The government and the Petrobangla also have to share the loss in case of cancellation of the survey", he said.
Earlier, the Petrobangla Chairman in a letter requested the Director General of DoE to withdraw the order and allow the company to explore in the area.

 

 
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