Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) has taken an initiative to increase an additional 172 BCF (Billion Cubic Feet) gas production by 2024.
To this end, BAPEX has sent a development project proposal (DPP) to the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources for approval of the project including exploration of one new gas well and evaluation cum development of two wells, an official said.
BAPEX officials said the total estimated cost of the project is around Tk 284 crore. Of this, Tk 255.77 crore will be spent from the Gas Development Fund (GDF) and BAPEX will invest the rest of the amount from its own funds.
Once successfully implemented, the project is expected to produce an additional 30 million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas to be added to the national grid per day, which will help to address the ongoing crisis of gas across the country.
BAPEX has already received clearance for the project in accordance with the Gas Development Policy, 2012 (Revised 2022), and a circular on self-finance for the implementation of development projects.
Under the project, an exploration gas well will be drilled at Srikail North-1A in Cumilla district. A three-dimensional seismic survey has already been completed during the 2014-15, which was later approved by the Geophysical and Geological Committee comprising Bapex, Petrobangla and international consultants.
The depth of the exploration well is 3500 meters. Initially, the potential gas reserve is 91 bcf there. This well will produce a maximum of 80 percent gas at a pressure of 200 psi. As such, the amount of gas to be extracted from this well is 72.80 BCF.
Besides, the evaluation cum development work will be conducted out of two wells in Sundalpur-3 and Begumganj-4 (West) in Noakhali district. A three-dimensional survey has already been completed of the development well named ‘Sundalpur-3’ during the 2015-16 field season. The depth of this well is 3200 meters. Initially, the potential gas reserves of the well is 93 BCF. This well will produce a maximum of 70 percent gas at a pressure of 200 psi. As such, the amount of gas to be extracted from this well is 65.10 BCF.
Another drilling work is in pogress the project is the location of development well Begumganj-4 (West) at Sonaimuri in Noakhali. The depth of this well is also 3200 meters. Initially the potential gas reserves here are 50 bcf. It is expected that a maximum of 80 percent gas will be extracted from the well at a pressure of 200 psi. As such, the amount of gas to be extracted from this well is 35 bcf.
The country's annual demand for natural gas is one TCF (trillion cubic feet). In contrast, the natural gas reserves in the gas fields are less than 10 TCF (trillion cubic feet). However, it is not possible to extract all amounts of the gas.
A maximum of 70-80 percent of the reserved gas can be extracted in any field. According to this, the maximum reserve of extractable gas in the country is around 7.5 TCF. Considering the annual demand, the local demand can be met with this stock up to a maximum of 7.5 years.
Development plans for the industrial and power sectors are largely focused on natural gas. Every year the practical demand of gas is increasing in residential, industrial, power plants and another sector of the country. Considering this growing demand, experts say, if the resources of alternative sources are not increased now, there is a danger of a big catastrophe in the energy sector in the coming days.
According to Petrobangla's statistics, the country's 27 gas fields have reserves of 9,901 billion cubic feet or 9.9 TCF. Of this, 8.75 TCF gas is reserved in 20 gas fields under production. The remaining gas reserves are in the seven non-producing gas fields, amounting to just over one TCF. However, even five years ago, the country's daily gas extraction was 280 crore cubic feet.
According to Petrobangla, 230 crore cubic feet of gas is being added to the national grid every day from domestic wells. With this, more 78 crore cubic feet of LNG is being supplied.