Staff Correspondent: The government has decided to launch deep drilling in different natural gas fields to reduce pressure on liquefied natural gas (LNG), officials confirmed.
LNG imports have become costly as the international market remains volatile due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
“We have purchased natural gas at $39 per mmbtu from six cargoes in spot market to meet the demand,” Petrobangla chairman Nazmul Ahsan told on Monday. He said an mmbtu of natural gas was only $10 a year ago. “We have planned to start deep drilling to explore some gas from local gas fields. We are launching our activities in this regard,” Nazmul Ahsan said.
The term deep drilling refers to geological drilling into deep layers of the earth’s crust.
The Petrobangla said it has already instructed to distribution companies in this matter.
In a recent meeting at Prime Minister’s Office, the Petrobangla discussed about huge pressure on balance of payment to pay the bills of LNG.
According to Petrobangla chairman, the Petrobangla already identified five wells for deep drilling.
They are three wells of Titas Gas field, one from Habiganj and one from Rashidpur gas fields.
Talking over the issue, Md Shoyeb, managing director of Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL), said the company has a plan to drill three development wells at Titas and another well at Kamta.
“We have a plan to float international bid to drill the wells by June (this year),” he said.
Md Shoyeb said the company will also drill seven work-over wells through Bapex. Bapex has its own schedule to develop wells at its gas fields. It assured of working for work-over wells only, according to BGFCL official. The BGFCL official said the company will also concentrate on 1450 square kilometers 3D seismic survey at Habiganj and Bakhrabad areas.
“We mainly aim to drill the wells till the fiscal year 2023-24,” the managing director said.
Prime Minister Office already directed Petrobangla to take necessary steps to explore possibilities of gas in all depleted wells amid the crisis.
After the instruction of the PMO, the Petrobangla is now reviewing all possibilities of exploring wells to meet the low-cost gas demand against the costly oil imports.
The meeting primarily agreed to explore gas from Rashidpur field as per the exploration study of Chevron.
The US company Chevron also proposed deep drilling at its Bibiyana gas field, official sources said.
The firm submitted a work plan along with budget to the state-run Petrobangla for drilling the Bibiyana-27 well.
Earlier, the Chevron had invested around $500 million under in Bibiyana gas plant- expansion project during FY2012-15.
Over the past couple of years, Chevron had carried out an “exploration study” in 11 onshore blocks, fully or partially, to delineate new hydrocarbon prospects and help augment the country’s overall natural gas output.
Among the blocks 1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 which were studied by Chevron, few are still vacant, or unexplored, some owned by the state-run Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd (BGFCL) and some owned by Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd (SGFL) while the remainder are Chevron’s.
Bangladesh’s gas demand increased to 4,500mmcfd now, Petrobangla can only supply about 3,114mmcfd. Of them, 758mmcfd come from the imports of LNG.
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