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Oman Keen to Invest in Bangla Oil And Gas Sector

Source: Oman Observer 1/21/2013, Location: Asia

Since the Royal Decree of His Majesty the Sultan to establish Oman’s full-fledged embassy in Bangladesh last September, the two countries have seen a flurry of activity as they have started gearing up to take their bilateral co-operation to higher heights. The Omani Embassy has already started working on a limited scale in its new premises in Dhaka from the hitherto single room in Qatar Embassy.

Oman Oil Company is keen to invest in Bangladesh’s fast growing oil and gas sector. To this effect, it has submitted a proposal to its counterpart in Bangladesh, namely, Petrobangla, for joint venture deals in the oil and gas sector, said Mohammad Khorshed Khastagir, Counsellor and Charge d'Affaires, Bangladesh Embassy. Many multinational companies have already invested in gas exploration in Bangladesh. US based Chevron Energy is currently producing around 1150mmcfd gas, which is roughly half of Bangladesh's daily production. Energy prices in Bangladesh are most competitive in the region. Transportation on green compressed natural gas is less than 20 per cent of the diesel price.

Oman’s Sadara Development and Investment LLC is exploring ways to source Bangladeshi expertise and investment for shrimp farming and aquaculture in Oman. Studio Ecotecture Limited, an engineering consulting firm from Bangladesh, recently signed a MoU with Al Badi Trading and Cont Est. of Oman for JV in engineering, construction, infrastructure, and real estate projects in Oman. Muscat Thread Mills, an Omani public limited company listed with the Muscat Securities Market, is currently building a RO 3 million ($ 7 million) worth sewing thread factory in Bangladesh’s Comilla Export Processing Zone, a special economic zone that enjoys tax holidays and other investment related incentives. Boasting a production capacity of five tonnes a day, the factory’s returns are expected to average 25 per cent in internal rating.

A four-member delegation of Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is all set to visit Bangladesh in early February to identify potentially lucrative areas for bilateral collaboration in agriculture, fisheries and livestock sectors. Bangladesh’s Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Khandaker Mosharraf Hussain, is due in Oman next month to review bilateral economic co-operation between the two countries, particularly issues concerning export of skilled and semi-skilled manpower from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a vibrant economy that has, despite the recent global economic meltdown, maintained a consistent growth rate of around six per cent. With a population of 150 million people, Bangladesh boasts an efficient and entrepreneurial workforce that is changing the profile of the economy.

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