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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Petrobangla struggles to meet gas demand

Mohiuddin Farazi: Petrobanglahas increased gas supply by extracting and importing from domestic sources. But the country’s industrial plants, residential and power sectors are suffering due to the increase in demand than supply.
One-third of capacity power plants are sitting idle due to lack of gas, disrupting industrial production. Petrobangla has taken various measures to come out of this crisis.
Drilling of 100 more wells, drilling of abandoned wells, seismic survey, onshore PSC, start of offshore oil and gas exploration activities by foreign companies next year to increase gas production from domestic sources besides reducing system losses, preventing theft and wastage of gas and utilization at supply and customer level The organization is working to ensure transparency. Apart from this, it has been planned to spend Tk 22,822 crore on oil and gas exploration in the next 4 years.
Out of this, Tk 19,050 crores will be spent on digging 100 wells. In this, 48.5 crore cubic feet of gas can be connected to the national grid. Besides, 2D and 3D seismic survey will be done at Tk 3,772 crore.
Based on the data of this survey, international tenders will be called in the light of production-sharing agreement (PSC) for oil and gas exploration on land. This information is known from Petrobangla sources.
According to Petrobangla, the current gas demand in the country is around 4 billion cubic feet per day. This demand is increasing day by day. Due to the limitation, the supply cannot be increased compared to that. More than 3 billion cubic feet is being supplied now, including imported LNG. Out of this, more or less 200 million cubic feet is available from onshore gas fields. In 2030, the country’s daily gas demand will increase to 5 billion cubic feet. Then it will be possible to supply 435 crore cubic feet of gas. Of this, 212 million cubic feet can be obtained from onshore gas fields. 100 million cubic feet of gas will be obtained from offshore gas blocks and 213 million cubic feet of gas from LNG. However, offshore oil and gas exploration has not yet started.
Petrobanglasource says the two floating terminals currently have a capacity of 1,200 million cubic feet. Two more floating terminals will come on stream by 2026-27, increasing the supply of imported gas.
Plan to drill 100 more wells: Petrobangla plans to drill and workover (renovate) 48 wells by 2025 to meet the gas crisis. Two years have already passed in this three-year plan adopted in 2022. So far 11 wells have been drilled and 12.6 million cubic feet of gas per day is available. 3.3 crore cubic feet has been added to the national grid. Workover work is currently underway in three wells. Apart from this, Petrobangla has planned to drill 100 more wells between 2025 and 2028. They expect to increase gas production by about 100 million cubic feet per day by drilling 69 new wells. Besides, another 500 million cubic feet of gas can be obtained through workover in 31 wells. Petrobangla wants to spend Tk 5,722 crore from its own funds in three years to implement this plan. Tk 13,328 crore has been asked from the government.
Digging of Abandoned Wells: So far 253 wells have been dug in Bangladesh. Now gas is being extracted from 70 wells. 98 wells are abandoned or production is temporarily stopped due to various reasons. A Petrobangla source said workover is possible in 31 of these wells. Modern methods of gas extraction can also be applied in other wells. This may increase the supply of gas to the national grid by 22-23 crore cubic feet.
Seismic survey: 10,225-line kilometers today and 7,854 square kilometers 3D seismic survey will be done in the next few years to identify gas reserves in new potential areas. It may cost Tk 3,772 crore.
Onshore PSC: There are 22 gas blocks onshore. Of these, 11 are open. Apart from BAPEX, Petrobangla has taken the initiative of oil and gas exploration through foreign companies in these blocks. For this, the organization has taken the initiative to formulate onshore PSC like offshore.
Offshore Bidding: International tenders were invited for offshore oil and gas exploration last March. So far 7 international companies have bought tenders to participate in the search. At the end of the process, there is a plan that the responsible foreign company will start working next year.
4 Committee formation: Petrobangla wants gas consumption to be monitored at every stage. Each area will account for gas supply, consumption and revenue collected therefrom. Area-wise metering and determining system losses will bring officials and employees accountable. Petrobangla has already set up four high-level committees to reduce system losses, prevent gas theft and wastage, and ensure close monitoring and utilization at the customer level at every stage of gas supply. Apart from this, there is a central vigilance team. Gas is supplied to six distribution companies through one transmission company.
Instructions have been given to calculate area wise gas calculations. Companies have been asked to introduce intake and offtake gas metering systems to control and reduce system losses. At the same time bulk customers have been asked to monitor the metering system. Apart from this, a top supervisor committee has been formed to monitor the overall issue.
Director (Operation) of PetrobanglaKamruzzaman said in the light of time, Petrobangla is conducting various activities to reduce import dependence and extract its own resources. Offshore bidding is done. Work will be started soon through qualified companies.
He said that Petrobangla is working on plans to start onshore exploration activities. Gas supply has increased more than before. Now we have the capacity to supply gas to power plants in excess of demand. Work is underway to reduce theft, system loss. The work of fixing the network is also in progress. Instructions have been given to calculate area wise gas accounts.
There are a total of 13 companies under Petrobangla, of which three are gas exploration companies. A company carries out gas transmission. Six companies market gas to customers. Among the other three companies, one deals with LNG, CNG, LPG, two companies deal with coal and stone mining.

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