State-run Petrobangla has assigned two of its subsidiaries -- BGFCL and SGFL -- to assess the assets and liabilities of Chevron Bangladesh before quoting any price to buy the US firm's local stake, said officials.
"We have asked the BGFCL and SGFL to jointly assess and file a report to the Petrobangla," Petrobangla chairman Istiaque Ahmad told the FE Sunday.
He said the BGFCL (Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd) and the SGFL (Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd) might hire an independent consultant for the assessment.
The assessment would be completed before quoting price, said the official.
The government has planned to submit an expression of interest (EoI) to Chevron soon to acquire its stakes in Bangladesh, a senior official of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) said.
If Bangladesh purchases the stakes, it would be the second such incident of takeover after August 9, 1975 when the then President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had taken over all shares of five onshore gas fields from Shell Oil Company at a cost of only around GBP 4.4 million.
When asked about its sale Plan, a Chevron spokesman said, "Our asset sales programme is not focused on Asia, it is across Chevron's global portfolio. This involved the sale of selected assets across New Zealand, Canada and the United States in the last year."
Regarding Bangladesh, he said, "We can confirm that Chevron has been in commercial discussions our interests in Bangladesh."
"At this stage, no decision has been made to sell our interests. We will only proceed if we can realise attractive value for Chevron," he added.
When asked about any progress on sale, the Chevron spokesperson said: "Chevron does not comment on commercial discussions."
Chevron is the largest among the IOCs currently operating in Bangladesh, producing more than half of the country's total natural gas output.
The US firm is currently producing around 1540 mmcfd of natural gas from three of its onshore gas fields -- Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulavi Bazar -- located in blocks 12, 13 and 14 respectively, in the northeastern Sylhet region, which accounts for around 56 per cent of the country's total supply, according to Petrobangla data as on November 27, 2016.
Chevron Bangladesh has separate production sharing contracts, or PSCs, with Petrobangla for three of its gas fields and none of which would expire before 2028, Ahmad said.
The company has separate production sharing contracts (PSCs) with Petrobangla for three of its gas fields and none of these would expire before 2028.