Mahfuz Emran : Gas crisis is increasing day by day in the country. Domestic companies are in charge of more gas fields than foreign companies but are producing less. The amount of this withdrawal is also decreasing gradually. Domestic companies are extracting gas from 70 wells in 18 gas fields. And foreign companies Chevron and Tallo are extracting gas from 43 wells in 4 gas fields. Chevron and Tallo are extracting far more gas than domestic companies by drilling less than half as many wells.
Chevron is extracting more than 1,200 million cubic feet of gas from 26 wells in the Bibiana gas field alone, which is 55 million cubic feet more than the gas extracted by domestic companies. Experts are blaming the technical inefficiency of domestic companies behind this.
Experts say, our domestic companies do not have the same investment as foreign companies. Technical skills are also low. If some work is done on the existing wells in the country, production could be increased.
According to information provided on Petrobangla’s website, gas is currently being extracted from 113 wells in the country. This gas is extracted by Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited, Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited and Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL).
Last Wednesday, Chevron and Tallo extracted 1,615 million cubic feet of gas from 43 wells in 4 gas fields. The maximum gas extraction is 1,200 million cubic feet from 26 wells in the Bibiana gas field. On the other hand, 3 domestic companies are extracting 1,145 million cubic feet of gas from 30 wells.
According to information, it is still possible to produce gas on a large scale from ‘Chatak’, a large gas field in Sylhet, which has been closed for the last 18 years. Kailastila and Rashidpur gas fields operated by SGFL are two of the first five largest gas fields in the country. Kailashtila-II produces 30 million cubic feet of gas per day from only 3 wells, though the capacity is 55 million cubic feet. Kailashtila-1 is not producing at all. The capacity of five wells in Rashidpur is 60 million cubic feet, but 40 million cubic feet of gas is being extracted daily.
390 million cubic feet per day is being extracted from 26 wells in Titus, the largest gas field. That is 15 million cubic feet per well. And Chevron is extracting more than 1,000 million cubic feet per day from Bibiana’s 26 wells. That is about 40 million cubic feet of gas per well.
It is known that the international oil and gas company Slamberger Limited conducted a survey on the country’s gas fields in 2011. They identified technical weaknesses in 49 producing gas wells in the country. They give some suggestions to extract more gas from these wells. The suggestions included some repairs, some adjustments and some additions of parts. But those suggestions were not heeded.
Experts say that the amount of gas reserves in the country is decreasing. Despite the potential, new gas fields are not being discovered. Production has decreased in many gas wells in the country. It reduces the total gas production. Due to not using modern technology, the domestic companies are not able to extract more gas when needed despite having reserves. However, it is possible to increase gas extraction from the country’s wells.
Experts believe that the current gas crisis in the country is not due to lack of gas; Rather, it is the failure to extract and use the gas reserves in the country. Increasing the number of production wells in the existing gas fields will increase the level of gas extraction.
However, due to taking various steps, the amount of gas extracted by domestic companies is increasing, says Petrobangla. The company says that 2,760 million cubic feet of gas was extracted last Wednesday. 1,000 million cubic feet of LNG has been supplied. Without work, this production would not have increased. Besides, 48 wells have been planned to be drilled by 2025 to increase gas extraction in the country, which is targeted to be completed by 2024. Development projects of 16 wells have already been undertaken.
To solve the gas crisis, Bhola Gazprom has been given 5 wells, Chinese company Sinopac has been given 5 wells of Sylhet Gasfield (SGFL) and Uzbekistan company Ariel has been given 7 wells of Bangladesh Gas Fields Company (BGFCL). International tenders for offshore oil and gas exploration will be opened next March. Another 100 wells have been identified for drilling between 26 and 28.
According to Bapex sources, the company plans to drill a total of 19 wells in its own gas fields by 2024. Of these, 9 are exploration wells and 10 are development wells. Through this initiative has been taken to add another 18 crore 10 lakh cubic feet of gas.
Energy expert and former BERC member (gas) Maqbool-e-Ilahi Chowdhury told that the reason for domestic companies extracting less gas than foreign companies is due to technical failure. But action is not being taken. We can increase gas extraction, that is also an opportunity, but it has not been done.
He said that if we want to survive now, we have to take initiatives to increase gas extraction and also search for new gas fields.
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