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U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips (COP - Analyst Report) is likely to hand over the outcome of its 2D seismic survey, relating to two offshore blocks in Bangladesh's Bay of Bengal, to the state-owned hydrocarbon corporation Petrobangla in June 2013.

Currently, the international oil company is evaluating the data acquired through the survey. However, the data collected so far, seems insufficient to make an accurate calculation. Thus, ConocoPhillips has procured further data from Petrobangla. In Feb 2012, Petrobangla approved ConocoPhillips’ plan for seismic survey in the offshore blocks.

In Jun 2011, a production sharing contract (PSC) was inked between ConocoPhillips and Petrobangla for oil and gas exploration in two offshore blocks – DS-08-10 and DS-08-11. ConocoPhillips had contracted Chinese contractor BGP to perform the survey.

As per the PSC, the U.S major has nine years to carry out the exploration. The initial five years would serve as a primary exploration period and the remainder would be divided equally among the first and second extended exploration periods.

During the initial period, the company needs to achieve at least a 973 line kilometer seismic survey as well as drilling one (optional) well. In course of the first extended exploration period, ConocoPhillips will have to perform a 500 square kilometer (193 square mile) 3D seismic survey and drill one exploration well at a minimum of 2,200 meter (7,218 feet) below the seabed.

The Energy Ministry sources revealed that ConocoPhillips had recently completed its 2D survey and data acquisition activities for the two blocks located in a water depth of 1,000-1,500 meter (3,281-4,921 feet), 280 kilometer (174 mile) off Chittagong.

ConocoPhillips carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, there are other stocks in the oil and gas sector – Range Resources Corporation (RRC - Analyst Report), Enerplus Corporation (ERF - Snapshot Report) and EPL Oil & Gas, Inc. – which hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are expected to perform better.

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