Wednesday, January 09, 2008

PTTEP wins Bangladesh exploring bid

PTTEP wins Bangladesh exploring bid

Dhaka (Agencies) - Bangladesh and France's Total will explore offshore oil in two blocks in the Bay of Bengal, Independent Bangladesh reported.

Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production arm said its subsidiary, PTTEP Bangladesh, signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Total to explore two offshore blocks in the north of the Bay of Bengal.

The agreement, which needed approval from the Bangladesh government and other partners, is PTTEP's first investment in South Asia. PTTEP Bangladesh will get a 30-percent stake in the project, said Maroot Mrigadat, PTTEP president.

Total E & P Bangladesh, a wholly owned unit of French oil group Total, owns 30 percent, Tullow Bangladesh, a unit of British gas and oil group Tullow, owns 32 percent, and Okland Bangladesh Ltd. and Rexwood Offshore Holdings Limited own 4 percent each.

The two blocks cover 5,298 square miles and have been identified as a potential gas site.

PTTEP has invested in 37 oil and gas exploration and development projects in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and is looking to buy new gas and oil assets both locally and abroad to increase reserves and capacity.

07:39 Jan 08, 2008

US stocks barely edge up on drugs, utilities

New York (dpa) - US stocks rose Monday for the first time in 2008, clawing back from last week's sell-off.

Drugmakers and utility companies helped lead the advance after analysts urged investors to bet on companies that may resist the cooling US economy.

The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4.55 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,416.18. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27.31, or 0.2 per cent, to 12,827.49. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.19, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,499.46.

The US dollar rose to 68.07 euro cents in New York from 67.81 on Friday, and to 109.17 Japanese yen from 108.65.

Gold fell 3.70 dollars to 862.00 dollars per fine ounce.

05:25 Jan 08, 2008

Canadian killed in scuffle with policeman

(dpa) - A Canadian tourist was shot and killed and his wife wounded while tussling with a Thai policeman, local media reported Monday.

John Leo Del Pinto, 25, was drinking in the Ting Tong pub in Mae Hong Son, a northern province on the Burmese border, when he discovered that his Canadian wife Carly Reisig, 24, was pregnant by another man.

Witnesses claim the pair quarreled furiously early Sunday inside and later outside the pub before they were approached by police Sargent Uthai Dechawiwat who asked them to calm down, reports said.

The officer claimed the couple turned to attack him, beating him to the ground, when he requested they relax. He used his service pistol to threaten them only for Del Pinto to attempt to snatch it.

In the ensuing scuffle Del Pinto was shot in the mouth and on his left side. His wife was also shot in the left side. Uthai, 37, initially fled the scene but later gave himself up. He has been released on bail after being charged with murder and manslaughter.

Police investigators said they had yet to get the wife's side of the story. The Thai police have had a number of clashes with tourists in recent years. The most notorious being when two young British backpackers got into an argument with a policeman at his restaurant in Kanchanaburi in 2004.

The policeman followed the couple down the street in his car, shooting the man Adam Lloyd, then running the girl down in his car Vanessa Arscott, before also shooting her.

No witness would appear in court against the policeman but Somchai Wisetsingh was sentenced to life on forensic evidence. The parents of the dead couple were furious at what they described as the incompetence of the early police investigation.

16:28 Jan 07, 2008

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