'We believe that some 10,000-12,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas can be supplied from the well to the national grid'
Amid mixed reactions over its performance, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) has experimentally started extracting gas from a well with a supposedly huge reserve at the Srikail East-1 gas field in Brahmanbaria.
Bapex General Manager (geology) Md Alamgir Hossain confirmed the development to Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.
“We believe that some 10,000-12,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas can be supplied from the well to the national grid,” he said.
According to him, the new gas reserve was found at a depth of 3,065 metres.
Full-fledged commercial extraction from the well, which is the fifth of its kind in Srikail, may start sometime soon following necessary preparations, he hoped.
Bangladesh currently has a demand of 3.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), whereas the gas supply is 2.7bcfd, clearly creating a massive shortage of 1bcfd of gas every day.
Hence, the addition to the gas distribution network will come immensely handy, experts say.
Commending Bapex on its success, eminent geologist Badrul Imam said: “The extraction of gas from the well is immensely encouraging. And this is not the first time Bapex achieved something like this.
“But there are still doubts about its capability. How long does it (Bapex) have to prove its worth while working on the onshore fields?” he questioned.
He, also opined that Bapex might not be successful on the offshore fields.
Notably, Bangladesh discovered its 27th gas field in Bheduria of Bhola in October 2017.
About the new well
The well is located at Hajipur village of Nabinagar upazila in Brahmanbaria, some seven kilometres off the Srikail gas field in Comilla. The experimental extraction of gas from the well started on Tuesday evening.
Bapex official Alamgir said at the time, gas was being extracted at 1,800 PSI (pound-force per square inch).
Though he could not give an estimate about the gas reserve in the well, but hopes it to be massive.
The gas field Project Director Syed Muhammad Kabir, said they conducted 3D seismic survey in the area in 2017 and 2018.
Bapex started digging the exploratory well on October 28 last year and completed doing so on January 31, he added.
Currently, Bapex is producing about 110 mmcf of gas per day from seven onshore gas fields - Saldanadi, Fenchuganj, Shahbazpur, Semutang, Sundalpur, Srikail and Rupganj.
However, Bapex’s performance is widely criticized by the government, with the state minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources recently giving warnings about letting go of manpower in the oil and gas exploration company for substandard performance.
Recently, the government engaged Russian energy company Gazprom to explore two gas fields in Bhola-- both discovered by Bapex.
Our Brahmanbaria correspondent Ujjal Chakraborty and Comilla correspondent Masud Alam contributed to this report.