National, Back Page

20-yr plan to increase gas extraction

Published : 16 Oct 2021 10:26 PM | Updated : 17 Oct 2021 02:05 PM

Keeping 2041 in mind, the state-owned oil and gas exploration company Bapex has undertaken a 20-year future plan for further natural gas extraction to ensure energy security in the country.

“The government has decided to dig wells going deep layer as the shallow reserves of many gas fields have dwindled. For this, Bapex is bringing rigs with a capacity of 7,500 meters digging,” an official familiar with the process told BSS on Saturday.

He said currently about 2,600 mmcfd gas is being extracted daily from 20 discovered gas fields out of 28 existing fields.

The ongoing gas crisis and rise of energy prices, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), have accelerated the Bapex to implement its plan, the official said. Talking to BSS, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the state-owned Bapex has taken the opportunity to increase its capacity and experience to extract gas and drill various gas wells.

“The present government has undertaken onshore plan to drill 41 (subject to mature prospect) exploration wells, development of 45 wells and work over 29 wells by 2041,” he said.

Nasrul said the government reviewed model PSC-2012 and onshore model PSC-2019 along with offshore model PSC-2019 have been formulated separately, adding, “A new bidding round will be announced after improvement of coronavirus situation further.” 

According to Bapex sources, at present about 2,600 mmcfd gas is being extracted daily from 20 gas fields out of 28. Wells or fields that were left unused for fear of accidents due to high pressure, now advanced technology will be used to dig those wells and fields. 

In places where Bapex does not have the capacity to survey and drill for gas wells, it was decided to partner with foreign companies for drilling, sources said.

Managing Director of Bapex Mohammad Ali said a decision was taken to dig wells at a depth of more than 5,000 meters at Srikail North, Mobarakpur South East-1, Titas deep-1, Bakhrabad deep-1, Rashidpur deep-1 in the first phase.

“We have a plan to complete the digging within the next three years (December 2024). After successfully completion Sunetra-deep1, Shailkupa-1 and Savar-Singair-1 will be dig under the second phase,” he said. 

Read more: Bapex to survey CHT for gas

Ali said the Bapex has a plan for exploration in hill tracts areas with the help of some foreign companies under Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) method with Bapex, adding, “A letter was sent to the ministry for administrative approval and near future we will invite expression of interest (EoI) to select JVA partner.”

“We have also a plan to conduct 2D seismic survey at 11,000 line km and another plan for 3D seismic survey for 3500 square km,” he added.

The Bapex sources said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Japanese company Mitsui Well Exploration Company (MOECO) and Bapex to search in Blocks 8 and 11 (Jamalpur, Kishoreganj and Netrokona).

Since independence, 68 oil and gas exploration wells have been drilled in the country, while Indian state of Tripura did 160 exploration wells at the same time. Of these, 33 have been excavated in the 17 years under Awami League tenure.

Now the Ministry, Petrobangla and Bapex are working to ensure energy security in the country and energy exploration in the map area of the country under the direction of the Prime Minister.

Bapex is being strengthened financially, mechanically and manpower.

The first well was drilled in Bangladesh in 1910. Since then, only 95 exploration wells have been dug in 110 years. In this way 28 gas fields have been discovered. 

Apart from this, there are a few fields like Mubarakpur, Kasba and Kutubdia, which have not been declared commercially livable despite the gas shortage.

The country was thought to have large gas reserves only in the Sylhet area.

However, in recent years, special attention is being paid to the southern districts.