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Bangladesh - December 5, 2023

Gas reserves may finish in 3 years

Only 32pc reserves remain

Mahfuz Emran: The recoverable gas reserves are gradually decreasing in the country. In addition to the gas fields owned by domestic companies, the reserves of the multinational corporation Chevron are also gradually decreasing. As a result, there is concern and apprehension about the future of the country’s gas sector.Experts predict that the country may run highest 3 years by the local gas reserve.
According to the recent report published by the hydrocarbon unit of the government’s energy and mineral resources department, the amount of recoverable gas in the country is 29.9265 trillion cubic feet (TCF). Of this, 20.3534 TCF has been extracted till last June, which is 68 percent of the total reserves. At that time, the remaining gas reserves in the country were 9.5731 TCF or 32 percent.
Among the domestic companies, the most gas has been extracted from the gas fields of Bangladesh Gas Field Company Limited. 12.2520 TCF of gas was stored in six gas fields under this company. Of this, 9.2502 TCF or 75.50 percent has been extracted. A little over three tcf of gas remains.
On the other hand, five gas fields under Sylhet Gas Fields Company had reserves of 7.33 TCF. Of this, only one-tenth 8559 TCF or 26.39 percent has been extracted. Five decimal 1771 tcf of gas remains.
According to the information of Hydrocarbon Unit, Rashidpur, Titas and Kailastila have the highest gas reserves in the country at present. In these three cases, the amount of gas reserves is 2.4315 TCF, 2.2567 TCF and 2.0839 TCF respectively. Among these, Titus is under Bangladesh Gas Fields and Rashidpur and Kailastila are under Sylhet Gas Fields.
Apart from these three fields, Bakhrabad under Bangladesh Gas Fields has 0.5151 TCF, Chatak Gas Field under Sylhet Gas Fields has 0.4482 TCF gas and Semutang Gas Field under BAPEX has 0.3037 TCF gas reserves.
At present there are eight gas fields under BAPEX. They had gas reserves of 1.4608 TCF, of which 0.6066 TCF have been extracted. Remaining zero decimal 9002 TCF.
According to the information of Petrobangla, the amount of gas production in the country in the fiscal year 2022-23 was 22 thousand 645.614 million cubic meters. In the previous fiscal year 2021-22, the amount of gas production was 23 thousand 783.104 million cubic meters. In other words, gas production decreased by 1,137.69 million cubic meters or 4.78 percent last financial year.
Chevron’s stocks falling
US company Chevron is supplying the most gas to the country as opposed to domestic companies. The company had gas reserves of 7.6127 TCF in three fields. Out of this, 7.5423 TCF of gas has been extracted. That is, more than 99 percent of the gas reserves from the fields under Chevron are over. Currently, the company has no gas reserves in the Jalalabad field. Moulvibazar and Bibiana have small gas reserves.
Chevron’s reserves are decreasing day by day as a result of supplying more gas to the grid than the local supply. If gas supply continues at current levels, Chevron is likely to run out of reserves within the next two to three years.
More than half of the total reserves are in gas fields operated by local companies. But compared to that they could not increase the level of gas extraction and supply. There are concerns about whether the local institutions are at all ready to meet the shortfall if the gas supply from Chevron’s fields stops.
What stakeholders saying?
Declining reserves of local gas fields, including Chevron, portend future disasters. If the supply of gas can’t be increased according to the demand, then the gas sector will face huge challenges. However, gas supply can be increased by drilling new wells and workovers, sources said.
Director (Operation and Mines) of PetrobanglaKamruzzaman Khan told Daily Industry that the plan to dig 46 wells till 2025 is already being implemented to increase gas supply. By this, about 60 crore cubic feet of gas will be added to the grid. Gas is available from the wells of Sylhet, Bhola, Biyanibazar. Under the plan, the production and supply of gas will increase further.
In a recent briefing, Minister of State for Power, Fuel and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said that in the last eight months we have arranged to bring in about 100 mmcf of new gas. We are hopeful, between 2024 and 2025, we will be able to supply another 500 mmcf of gas to the system.
The crisis in the energy sector of our country, we never look at its alternative. The alternative is to look at your country’s wealth. Over a period of time, Chevron’s supply will decrease. In that case, if we do not pay attention to the search and extraction of local resources, then the situation will become difficult, fuel expert Badrul Imam.
He said about the possibility of Chevron and Bibiana gas field, we are optimistic about the extension of Bibiana. We have a good chance from 2027 onwards. In the meantime, we have seen the results of the survey. Chevron is working there. After 2027 we will be in a better position.
Investigation not carried: Badrul Imam
Experts have been identifying ‘not giving proper importance to the exploration of domestic resources’ as the main reason for the energy crisis, including gas. Energy expert Badrul Imam told Daily Industry, “We never look at alternatives to the crisis in the energy sector of our country. The alternative is to look at your country’s wealth. Over a period of time, Chevron’s supply will decrease. In that case, if we do not focus on exploring and extracting our local resources, the situation will become difficult.
“Bangladesh has a lot of resources under the soil. Foreign firms have also confirmed that the country has huge gas potential. Despite the potential of undersea fuel, we are not able to utilize it properly. Companies dealing with gas have always said that the Bay of Bengal is an excellent place for gas discovery. But the search rate in our country is very low. No one could take the search to a higher level.

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