Bangladesh says finds oil reserves worth $5.5bn


Bangladesh has discovered oil in two old gas fields in the country’s northeastern region with an extractable reserve worth $5.5 billion, the chairman of state-owned Petrobangla said Monday. Hussain Monsur told AFP the two finds at Kailashtila and Sylhet contain proven reserves of 137 million barrels of low sulphur crude oil, of which 55 million barrels can be lifted commercially. Low sulphur, or “sweet”, crude oil is highly sought after and is more easily processed into gasoline than high sulphur crude. “In the current market price, the value of this extractable reserve of 55 million barrels is 450 billion taka ($5.5 billion). It’s a very good news, coming at a time when are our oil import bill is growing fast,” he said. The impoverished nation spent about $5 billion to import crude and refined oil in 2011 — from about $4 billion in 2010 — a large part of which was subsidised by the government, said state fuel importer Bangladesh Petroleum (Bapex), a subsidiary of Petrobangla.