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Gas crunch likely to ease soon

Published : 06 Apr 2022 09:49 PM | Updated : 07 Apr 2022 02:16 PM

The ongoing gas crunch is likely to ease as 2,950 million cubic feet more of imported LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) will reach Chattogram on Thursday, according to Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

The gas crisis has worsened the plight of consumers in Dhaka and the adjoining areas for the last couple of days. Many city dwellers alleged that they could not cook food for Iftar and Sehri due to gas shortage. Production in many industries has been halted and electricity production was also disrupted. 

Experts blamed the extraction of gas beyond capacity from Bibiyana gas field for the crisis.

Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Wednesday said, “A sudden gas problem at the Bibiyana gas field caused low gas pressure in some parts of the country from the first day of Ramadan. With the tireless work of our experienced engineers, we have begun to overcome this crisis. The Bibiyana gas field is currently producing 1,100 million cubic feet of gas.” 

“A cargo with 2,950 million cubic feet of LNG will arrive at Chittagong port on Thursday at 7am, which will help to overcome the crisis,” he added. 

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.

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. Four out of six damaged wells of Bibiyana gas field have been repaired, Petrobangla's engineers have successfully done the job.

However, Petrobangla has expressed fear 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 7. It will take time till April 10 to start regasification. The gas crisis will be resolved after that.

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.

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 over shipment deadlines due to the gas crisis.

According to Petrobangla, Bibiyana in Moulvibazar district is the largest gas field in the country. The daily production capacity of the gas field is 1.2 billion cubic feet. A total of 1.27 cubic feet of gas was extracted from the gas field even on Saturday. 

Sand was found in two gas processing units after midnight that day. Failing to detect the source of sand, the authorities stopped extraction from six wells on Sunday. As a result, production decreased by 420 million cubic feet which ultimately led to a shortage in gas supply.

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