Zakiganj looks to be new gas field

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (BAPEX) has traced the existence of gas in an agricultural land in Anandapur village of Zakiganj municipality in Sylhet. If everything goes well, it could be the 28th gas field in the country, officials said.  

The state-owned company BAPEX was able to light a 'flame of good fortune' through a drill stem test (DST) at Anandapur village in Zakiganj upazila on Tuesday. On Wednesday (today), the BAPEX delegation will visit Sylhet from Dhaka to examine the actual and overall situation. 

At a recent seminar, Anisur Rahman, Senior Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources division, informed about the field. He said "We are going to have a new gas field. The test is going on, it could be great news for us. Hopefully, I will be able to give good news very soon.”

According to a Bapex official, “the gas pressure in the well is 11,000 PSI at this moment. Based on this pressure, it is still not possible to call it a gas field. The first stage test is running, which is called DST (Drill Stem Test). We will do three more such tests. Based on the gas pressure, it will be decided on Wednesday whether gas can be extracted commercially from this well. Once the matter is confirmed, it will be declared a new gas field.” 

So far, 27 gas fields have been discovered in the country. The reserves of these gas fields are 21.4 TCF and there are six more TCFs of potential reserves. Of this, about 18 TCF has been lifted. The potential reserves are seven TCF. About 2,500 million cubic feet of gas is being extracted daily. 

The country’s natural gas supply capacity has doubled over the last decade because of economic growth thanks to various measures of the government.

Energy Division data show the current gas supply capacity stands at around 3,700 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), which include around 1000 mmcfd of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG), against 1,744 mmcfd in 2009.

In order to raise the technical capacity of Bapex, necessary equipment has been procured for conducting research activities or prospecting gas besides purchase of four modern rigs and rehabilitation of one rig.

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited had taken  initiative  to dig two new wells to explore gas from 2019 to 2021, 13 wells from 2022 to 2030 and 20 wells from 2031 to 2041.

The country’s gas demand is increasing rapidly due to the industrial and socio-economic development. However, the reserve of domestic gas is depleting gradually. The government is , therefore, planning to import more LNG. Besides, gas exploration activities will continue onshore and offshore, say energy division officials.

Against the backdrop of an ever-increasing gas demand, the government decided to import LNG in 2010 to meet the country’s dire energy deficit and finally the LNG import started from 2018.

The country currently has two Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRUs) with a total regasification capacity of 1,000 mmcfd. However, currently the RLNG is supplying 450 to 650 mmcfd to the national grid due to limitation of pipeline. 

On Tuesday evening, Mohammad Ali, Managing Director of BAPEX told the Bangladesh Post, ‘there is a possibility of getting gas in a completely new area. But it will take some time to confirm it. We are now conducting various tests. We have to test in four stages to confirm fully. So far one stage test has been completed. The  detailed information will be disclosed after 6 pm on Wednesday. But we are optimistic.’