The government organization Bangladesh Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Corporation-Petrobangla is not able to pay regular gas prices due to lack of US dollars. They have to pay fines for keeping bills outstanding.
Petrobangla buys gas extracted from domestic mines from foreign companies. They also pay the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from abroad. In both cases the price has to be paid in dollars. If the bills are not paid on time as per the contract, the penalty is to be paid at the prescribed rate. However, in some cases, the situation is such that foreign companies have threatened to stop gas supply if they do not receive the bill. Petrobangla officials said that this has created a risk in terms of energy security.
According to Petrobangla sources, in the letter given on July 13, Chevron has requested to pay the outstanding bill by August 31. When asked about the matter, Chevron Bangladesh spokesperson Sheikh Zahidur Rahman told Prothom Alo that according to the company’s policy, they do not comment on any commercial matter. Petrobangla sent a letter to the Energy Department on July 16 after receiving Chevron’s letter. It said that Chevron’s arrears from April last year to May this year, including gas bills and fines, have accumulated about $280 million. If this situation continues, there may be disaster in gas supply.
Petrobangla chairman Janendra Nath Sarkar, requesting Chevron’s bill payment in the letter, said, “The matter is very urgent considering the current overall situation of the country is very sensitive and sensitive.”
Petrobangla said in a letter to the Energy Department on July 11, if the bill is not received within three working days, Gunvar Singapore Pte Ltd will not supply LNG in the future. They will collect the money from the Bank’s Security Commitment (SBLC). Similarly, Total Energy has threatened to collect money.