State-run Petrobangla is facing concerns about the country’s overall gas supply from Chevron-operated gas fields due to unpaid gas bills amounting to $280.72 million since April 2022. Petrobangla has been unable to clear its dues to Chevron for over a year due to a dollar crunch, which could lead to a disruption in gas supply from the largest producer in Bangladesh. Chevron has demanded that Petrobangla settle all outstanding payments by August 31, 2023.
This situation has prompted Petrobangla to seek necessary funds from the Bangladesh Bank and other commercial banks to avoid overdue interest on the outstanding amounts. Chevron’s letter follows similar warnings from two spot liquefied natural gas suppliers regarding unpaid dues. If the non-payment exceeds a five-month period, Chevron has the right to shut down gas production. To ensure continued production, Petrobangla has paid $20 million and initiated talks to borrow $500 million from the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Chevron is currently the largest producer of natural gas in Bangladesh, accounting for 60% of the country’s total output.