Home Bangladesh Petrobangla incurs huge losses in dealing gas

Petrobangla incurs huge losses in dealing gas

Mahfuj Emran : Petrobangla has started making losses at an alarming rate in the energy sector. In the last month of August, where the operating profit was Tk 32.85 crore, in September, it made a loss of Tk 103.99 crore. Operating profit has decreased by Tk 71.14 crore, which is 416 percent as a percentage.
Titus had the biggest drop in operating profit from the previous month, which was 279 percent. And operating profit of Barapukuria coal mine has decreased by 196 percent. This information is known from the monthly report of Petrobangla.
Those concerned said that foreign dependence is increasing in the energy sector. Gas is being bought at higher rates from foreign companies. Besides, LNG is being imported at high rates. All in all, overall losses are increasing. And the gas price has to be increased to adjust this loss. Which is basically putting pressure on the shoulders of the common customer.
From the statistics of Petrobangla, it can be seen that last August, Petrobangla earned Tk 1,676 crore by selling gas and petroleum products. On the contrary, Tk 1,643 crore were spent in that month.
In August, Petrobangla’s net operating profit was around Tk 33 crore. But in September, there was a big difference between this income and expenditure. For example, the income in September was Tk 1,432 crores. On the contrary, Tk 1,563 crore were spent.
It can be seen that the difference between expenditure and income in September is about Tk 104 crore. Sources related to Petrobangla said that the sales income has decreased by around Tk 244 crore in the space of one month. And it has an impact on the net income.
Related sources said that the reason for the increase in Petrobangla’s losses was that earlier gas was extracted at a higher rate from its own gas fields. But now day by day this picture has changed and taken opposite picture. Now 63 percent gas is being bought from foreign companies. And only 37 percent of gas is being purchased from domestic companies. Again, gas is being purchased from domestic companies at a price that is three times the cost of buying gas from foreign companies. And this is why the overall loss is increasing day by day.
According to the latest statistics of Petrobangla, 549 crore 33 lakh 59 thousand cubic feet of gas was produced till September of the current financial year. Out of this, 2103.5 million cubic feet are purchased from domestic companies. And foreign companies produce about 339 million cubic feet of gas.
It shows that foreign companies produce 62 percent of the gas. Similarly, foreign companies produced 63 percent of the gas in the fiscal year 2022-23. Tk 5,767.32 crore 32 has been spent to buy 572 crore 44 lakh cubic feet of gas from foreign companies in the fiscal year 2022-23.
Tk 10.07 crore has been spent to buy every crore cubic feet of gas. On the other hand, Tk 520.76 crore was spent to buy 132 crore 37 lakh cubic feet of gas from domestic companies in the same year. Tk 3.96 crore are spent to buy every crore cubic feet of gas.
Those concerned said that the rate at which domestic companies were supposed to increase their capacity to meet the growing needs of the country is not being done. Adequate funds are not being allocated for digging new wells. It can be said that domestic companies are not able to increase their gas production capacity due to financial crisis.
However, a fund was created in the name of Gas Development Fund to increase the capacity of domestic companies. According to related sources, according to the gas sector master plan, there is a target to increase the import of LNG every year. On the other hand, the price of this import-dependent product is rising in the world market. It also increases the cost of importing LNG. Besides, the subsidy is increasing.
And the burden of this subsidy is on the common customer. Industrial gas prices were hiked by nearly 200 percent in the past year. And last Tuesday, the price of gas used in electricity and captive power was increased by 75 paisa per unit. In this way, the responsibility of the loss is being put on the shoulders of the people. To overcome this situation, it is necessary to increase gas extraction through domestic companies. And for this reason, the concerned have emphasized to increase the allocation of this sector along with retaining skilled manpower.

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