Maritime gas drilling kicks off

Good news for the nation

Published : 30 Sep 2021 08:33 PM | Updated : 04 Oct 2021 09:09 PM

Bangladesh on Wednesday rolled out its long-cherished ‘maritime mission’ as it began gas exploration drilling in its maritime areas for sustainable use of ocean resources. State-run Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) in association with Indian state-owned ONGC Videsh Ltd and with Oil India Ltd is now drilling at the Shallow Sea-4 block located offshore in the Bay of Bengal. As reported by this daily on Thursday, the gas exploration drilling work is now going on under the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs)

Bangladesh is now suffering from severe gas shortages due to low production at existing land gas fields. Bangladesh currently consumes 3,034mmcf gas per day against the demand for over 4,000mmcf. Apart from 600mmcf LNG, the rest of the gas comes from local fields. On land, the country discovered 28 gas fields, 22 of which are in operation and supply two-thirds of the country's total gas consumption.

Read more: Bapex to survey CHT for gas

The government will also have to conduct a multi-client 

survey immediately to get an accurate idea of the 

amount of mineral resources in the entire ocean

It is indeed good news for the nation as it has already indicated potential prospect of natural gas reserve in maritime area. We think when the country would be able to extract gas from the wells of offshore and deep sea area, Bangladesh domestic production will increase, leading it to less dependence on expensive LNG.  

The government is adopting and implementing various action plans for the exploration, extraction, transmission and distribution of oil and gas on land and in the sea. According to the PSC contract obligation, contractors are surveying and drilling the block at their own cost, and they will meet 55 per cent of their expenses each year from gas sales.

Read more: BAPEX holds 31st AGM

Petrobangla will own a minimum of 60 per cent and a maximum of 85 per cent of the recoverable gas, and a minimum of 70 per cent and maximum 90 per cent of the recoverable oil from the block. Since the signing of the contract, the ONGC consortium has conducted a 5,500-line-km two-dimension or 2D seismic survey in the block. It found 25 shallow and deep-sea blocks in Bangladesh’s sea boundary. Out of that, only three blocks have been awarded for gas and oil exploration.

Natural gas is one of the major fuels of industry in Bangladesh. Therefore, we think the government will also have to conduct a multi-client survey immediately to get an accurate idea of the amount of mineral resources in the entire ocean.

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