Energy Bangla

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Dhaka Wednesday,  Sep 27, 2017

High Court Rules Gas Deals With Niko Illegal, Orders Seizure Assets

BD NEWS

The High Court in Bangladesh has scrapped two gas deals with Canada-based Niko Resources.

It has also ordered confiscation of Niko’s assets in Bangladesh.

The court also told the state not to pay Niko any money it owes to the company, until the two lawsuits — one for the 2005 gas-field blast and the other on corruption — are settled.

Niko signed two deals in 2003 and 2006 to explore and sell natural gas to Bangladesh.

It signed a joint venture agreement with state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company or BAPEX. The other was a purchase and sales agreement with Petrobangla, the government’s oil and gas corporation.

The court’s ruling came on Thursday over a petition filed by the Consumers Association of Bangladesh or CAB, a consumer rights body.

In May 2016, CAB filed a petition challenging the legality of the deals, when the court halted the deals.

It also issued a rule then asking why, the deals will not be cancelled.

Secretary to the power, energy and mineral resources ministry, BAPEX managing director, Petrobangla chairman, Niko’s Canadian and Bangladesh chapters were ordered to come up with explanations.

On Thursday, the court announced its decision after holding a hearing over that rule, when it declared the deals illegal and ordered confiscation of Niko’s assets.

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