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Gas crisis improves slightly

Published : 06 Apr 2022 12:34 AM | Updated : 06 Apr 2022 12:46 PM

The ongoing gas crisis has slightly improved as production resumed at one of the two affected process trains at the Bibiyana gas field. However, the situation will return to normal within the next five days, officials said. 

According to a release of the ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, gas production at the Chevron gas field has increased to 1,010 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) which had gone below 800 MMCFD following a technical fault at the process system.

It is expected that the production at the gas field will reach 1,100MMCFD by Tuesday evening against its actual capacity of 1,200 MMCFD, said the ministry.

“After the relentless work of our experienced engineers, we are slowly beginning to overcome the crisis”, it said, adding that different areas had to experience gas shortage due to emergency repair work at Bibiyana gas field following a technical glitch.

The ministry expressed its gratitude to its gas consumers for their patience during the crisis period.

Both the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and Chevron Bangladesh confirmed the improvement in gas production and supply levels.

Shaikh Jahidur Rahman, Communications Manager of Chevron Bangladesh said in a statement, Chevron Bangladesh is making progress in returning the Bibiyana Gas Plant to full capacity, with production at one of the two process trains affected at the plant, and four wells in the field already resumed.

 ‘The plant is running at a reduced rate after suspension of operations at two of its five trains and six production wells in the field on April 3 following the discovery of some technical anomalies. Safety of workers, nearby communities and protection of the environment are top priorities for teams working to bring the second train and all remaining wells back online. The cause of the unplanned shutdown will be investigated,’ according to the statement. 

Bibiyana gas field has 26 wells that produce around 1,250mmcf gas. But the production dropped to 888mmcf on Sunday as the six wells had to undergo emergency maintenance.

The situation is somewhat better again after Monday evening. Another 140 million cubic feet of gas was added on Tuesday. Petrobangla and Chevron are hoping that the situation will get better with this.

However, Petrobangla has expressed fears that it required time to overcome the problem of the other two wells. Officials said that although these two wells are late in production, a cargo of LNG will arrive in Bangladesh on April 8. It will take time till April 10 to start regasification. The gas crisis will be resolved after that.

A severe gas crisis hit Dhaka and its outskirts on the very first day of Ramadan on Sunday due to the problems.

The disruption of the key necessity is not only hampering regular activities but also enhancing the living cost of the residents, as they have to make various alternative arrangements to cope with the problem.

Restaurants and hotels were also found dropping items from their menu because of the fall in gas pressure, thus incurring loss of business. 

As an alternative, those who are a little more affluent have resorted to cylinders or electric stoves, but the middle and lower class people were suffering a lot.

Gas crisis has disrupted production of many readymade garment factories in Ashulia, Chandra, Shafipur, and Gazipur areas.

Owners of around 2,400 apparel and textile factories are worried that they will miss shipment deadlines due to the gas crisis.

Gas-guzzling power plants squeezed their electricity generation significantly, as the plants got around 923 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas against their demand of 2,252 mmcfd on Monday, according to the Petrobangla.

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