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New ray of hope

Bangladesh’s 28th gas field found in Sylhet

Published : 09 Aug 2021 10:05 PM | Updated : 10 Aug 2021 12:56 AM

State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) has discovered a new gas field in Zakiganj upazila of Sylhet district. It is expected to produce one crore cubic feet of gas per day from the 28th field in the country having 68 billion cubic feet of gas reserve.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Monday formally announced the discovery of new gas fields at a webinar on the occasion of National Energy Security Day.  

Nasrul Hamid said that the value of the entire reserve at the new gas field would be around Tk 1,276 crore. Gas can be extracted from the gas field for 10 to 12 years. A three dimensional (3D) survey will be conducted soon to find the accurate position of the fossil fuel in the virgin field.

“I would also like to thank all the officials and employees concerned for discovering the 28th gas field in the country. I also thank the team of the Energy Division led by the Senior Secretary Anisur Rahman for this work,” he added. 

Nasrul Hamid said the government has taken an initiative to replace the old gas pipelines in Dhaka city with new ones to check the gas leakages as part of its move to bring the entire gas distribution system under automation through digitisation.  

Senior Secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division Anisur Rahman said the government has been importing gas from two companies under long-term contracts and also from other companies on the international spot market to meet the domestic demand.

“This import needs subsidy of Tk 6,312 crore per year to keep the price low in line with the local gas price as the import cost is $8-9 per unit against the price of local gas at $2.5-3 per unit,” he said.  

The webinar was presided over by senior secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division Anisur Rahman. It was also addressed by Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee of the ministry concerned Waseqa Ayesha Khan, members of the same committee Khaleda Khanon and Nargis Rahman, eminent energy expert and BUET professor Dr M Tamim, Petrobangla Chairman ABM Abdul Faatah, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) ABM Azad, Hydrocarbon Unit Director General Monjurul Qader, Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) Chairman Arun Karmaker and Energy and Power magazine Editor Mollah Amzad Hossain and others.

According to Bapex sources, exploring of the gas field was started in March this year which was completed later on May 7. In June, the state-owned company reported optimism over the possibility of finding gas in four layers inside a well in Ananadapur village of Zakiganj upazila. There are also plans to drill three more exploration wells. Then it can get an idea about actual gas reserves in the field.

Among the four layers, 68 BCF was found in 2,981 meters depth of the first layer only. No gas was found on other layers. However, some 48 BCF can be extracted considering 70% recoverable reserves.

The well has been dug some 32 kilometres from Beanibazar upazila and 46km from Gopalganj Upazila, Bangladesh's active gas fields, to supply gas.

Bapex Managing Director Mohammad Ali said, "This is the eighth success of Bapex. The gas layer is located at a depth of 2,870 to 2,890 meters of soil. The budget for digging the well was Tk 86 crore, where we spent Tk 71 crore.”

So far, 27 gas fields have been discovered in the country. The proven reserves of these gas fields are 21.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) and there are potential reserves of another six trillion cubic feet. Of this, about 18 TCF has been lifted. There are only three TCF left as proven stocks, and potential reserves are likely to be seven more TCF. 

Against the backdrop of an ever-increasing gas demand, the government decided to import LNG in 2010 to meet the country’s dire energy deficit and finally the LNG import started in 2018.

The country currently has two Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRUs) with a total regasification capacity of 1,000mmcfd. However, currently the RLNG is supplying 450 to 650mmcfd to the national grid due to limitation of pipeline. 

The National Energy Security Day has been officially celebrated since 2010. On this day in 1975, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman bought five gas fields from the Shell Oil Company spending Taka 17 crore 86 lakh only. Later, these gas fields became a major source of national energy security.