Bangladesh expects 2014 oil imports to rise 8 pct on year


DHAKA, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation(BPC) plans to import 1.3 million tonnes of oil in 2014 for itssole refinery, up more than 8 percent from a year ago, a seniorBPC official said On Wednesday.

Next year, 700,000 tonnes of Murban crude would be sourcedfrom Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and 600,000tonnes of Arab Light crude would be supplied by Saudi Aramco,said the official, who did not want to be named as he is notauthorised to talk to media.

BPC, the country's sole oil importer and distributor, boughtaround 1.2 million tonnes of crude from the two national oilcompanies in 2013 for its Eastern Refinery in port cityChittagong.

It has already concluded first-half 2014 term negotiationswith nine companies for oil products at mostly unchanged currentpremiums.

Suppliers for Bangladesh's middle distillates contracts areKuwait Petroleum Corp, Malaysia's Petronas, Egypt's Middle EastOil Refinery, Emirates National Oil Company, PhilippinesNational Oil Company, Vietnam's Petrolimex, Indonesia's BumiSiak Pusako, Maldives National Oil Co and Unipec.

Bangladesh's demand for fuel is growing sharply as ashortfall of natural gas forced it to turn to oil-fired powerplants to resolve electricity shortages.

The government heavily subsidises BPC that sells fuel oil tothe local market at much lower rates than import prices.

BPC takes loans from the Islamic Development Bank andforeign banks to meet growing oil import bills. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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