Initial scattered exploration effort for oil and gas was undertaken by private ventures. The search of oil and gas in the area constituting Bangladesh began in the later part of the 19th century through some isolated geological mapping. The first serious attempt to find oil and gas was undertaken in Sitakund in 1908 by the Indian Petroleum Prospecting Company, 18 years after the first oil discovery in Digboi, Assam. During 1923-31 Burmah Oil Company (BOC) drilled two shallow wells in Patharia. The wells were abandoned though there was a reported occurrence of oil. A total of 6 exploratory wells were drilled, there was however no discovery and the Second World War disrupted further activity. The promulgation of Pakistan Petroleum Act in 1948 introduced formal activity and infused interest of international oil companies in oil and gas exploration. The Standard Vacuum Oil Company (STANVAC) of USA, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. (PPL) - a Burmah Oil Company affiliate and Pakistan Shell Oil Company (PSOC) took up concessions during early fifties and carried out exploration till the end of sixties. These operations saw the drilling of 16 exploration wells including the first offshore well and resulted in the discovery of 7 gas fields. During this time Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) was established as the first public sector national organization in 1961 and the root of exploration for oil and gas were firmly set in the country. OGDC started to carriy out geological and geophysical survey including gravity, magnetic and seismic, and drilled wells which soon saw success. After the liberation of Bangladesh, exploration activities gathered pace both by the national and international companies. The part of OGDC that was in operation in Bangladesh was reorganized as Bangladesh Mineral Oil and Gas Corporation (Petrobangla) continued its exploration efforts while the Bangladesh Petroleum Act was enacted in 1974 to facilitate international participation under PSC. The offshore area of Bangladesh was divided in to 6 blocks, which were taken up by Ashland, ARCO, BODC (Japex), Union Oil, Canadian Superior Oil and Ina Naftaplin under production sharing contract. This phase of PSC ended with relinquishments by 1978. Since 1972 the operational mandate of Petrobangla have undergone modification several times. In 1974 oil import, refining and marketing was segregated under Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, while the mineral operation, which was separate since 1972, was merged with oil and gas operation in 1985. Presently Bangladesh Oil Gas and Minerals Corporation short named Petrobangla operates oil and gas exploration, development, transmission, distribution and conversion together with development and marketing of minerals. The logo of Petrobangla signifies its primary business of oil and gas related operations. The blue and the red segments signifies the energy emanation from gas and oil, while the overall circle signifies the integration of the whole business. The stylized letters P and B signifies Petrobangla.
Sector: Oil & Energy