Tangratila blowout of 2005: Bangladesh wins the case against Niko Resources

engratila gas field entrance in Dowrabazar upazila of Sunamganj. Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune

Enamul Hafiz Latifee compiles,

Bangladesh has won a case filed with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against Canadian company Niko Resources for the blowout in Tangratila Gas field at Chhatak, Sylhet on 07 January 2005, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said on 03 May 2020.


The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) announced the verdict on 28 February 2020, the State Minister said while exchanging views with reporters through videoconference on “Bangladesh’s victory in Niko case at ICSID” from his residence in Dhaka.


In a Facebook post, the State Minister also confirmed about Bangladesh’s win against Niko Resources Limited and accused the ruling alliance government of that time, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)– Jamayat Bangladesh of receiving a big amount from Niko.


করোনাভাইরাস মহামারীর মধ্যেও দেশবাসীকে একটা সু-খবর দিতে চাই। ২০০৫ সালের জানুয়ারিতে এবং জুনে পর পর দুবার টেংরাটিলা…

Posted by Nasrul Hamid on Sunday, May 3, 2020

On January 7, 2005, an explosion occurred in Chhatak gas field in Sunamganj while Niko was drilling there, causing extensive damage to the environment of the gas field and its adjoining areas.

More than a decade after the explosion, Bangladesh filed a lawsuit with the international arbitration court against Niko on 25 March 2016, claiming US$ 1014 million (US$ 118 million for Bapex and $896 million for Bangladesh) in compensation for the destruction of properties and gas reserves in the field, said a press release of the ministry.

Nasrul Hamid said in addition to the direct compensation, rehabilitation of the public, loss of public health as a result of the explosion, environmental compensation including land damage will also be recuperated from Niko.


After a long and complicated legal battle of ten years, the tribunal issued the landmark judgment, accusing Niko of violating the terms of the 2005 joint venture agreement, he said.

The International Tribunal has ruled that the explosion was caused due to Niko’s failure to conduct its operations efficiently and in line with international standards for the petroleum industry, the minister added.


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