By Saleem Samad – AHN News Correspondent
Dhaka, Bangladesh (AHN) – Bangladesh authorities have received an offer from United States energy company ConocoPhillips to explore six deepwater gas blocks in the Bay of Bengal.
Chairman Hussain Monsur of Petrobangla, a state agency for exploration of gas and oil, said on Sunday that the American firm was selected as the best bidder in 2008 but had not been able to work the sites because of a legal wrangle.
For more that a decade, Bangladesh was tied up in an international dispute on the demarcation of sea boundaries with neighbors Burma and India. On March 14, the United Nations’s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) rejected the Burmese territorial claim.
Last week ConocoPhillips send an official letter to Petrobangla seeking exploration rights of the blocks.
Among the six deepwater blocks ConocoPhillips is now vying for are four blocks previously claimed by Burma. The other two blocks are disputed by India and will be heard by the Hamburg-based ITLOS in 2014.
State-owned Petrobangla is not yet sure the ITLOS verdict clears the disputed blocks with Myanmar. Bangladesh has yet to receive an official copy of the verdict.
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