Tullow Protests ChevronTexaco's Sale of Bangladesh Assets

Tullow Oil has gone to the Government of Bangladesh to protest the move by ChevronTexaco to sell its stake in the Block 9 gas field to Niko Resources. Tullow officials met Bangladesh's state minister for energy and mineral resources, A.K.M. Mosharraf Hossain on Thursday, and handed him a letter of protest.

The minister said that Tullow raised objections to the sale because they (Tullow) are the operator of Block 9 and should have been granted the right of first refusal for ChevronTexaco's stake in the block. Tullow does not accept that ChevronTexaco has the right to transfer shares to another company, without first gaining Tullow's consent, as per rights and obligations laid down in the production sharing contract.

"We will resolve the issue in accordance with the PSC," Mosharraf said. "The right of share transfer is a common practice in joint venture business but it should be discussed with the other partners," he added.

ChevronTexaco has a 60 percent share in Block 9; Tullow holds 30 percent and BAPEX holds the remaining 10%.