The experimental exploration of gas from the newly discovered Shahbazpur East 1 onshore well at Borhanuddin upazila of Bhola has commenced.
Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) Director Md Nowshad Islam said the drilling started on Wednesday morning.
Narrating the process of drilling, he told reporters that the pressure of gas being explored through the Drilling Steam Test (DST) from the well is around 5,000 PSI (pound per square inch), which is way too high.
The government on October 23 announced discovering the well, located in the upazila's Tabagi union, with an estimated reserve of at least 700 billion cubic feet (bcf) gas.
The high-up of Bapex, the exploration wing of state-owned Petrobangla, also said the drilling of another gas well called Bhola North 1 in the district's Sadar upazila will start soon.
Hasanuzzaman, in-charge of the gas field, among others, was present during the drilling.
On August 6, 2017, Russian oil giant Gazprom, as a contractor of Bapex, started the drilling of Shahbazpur East 1 exploration well onshore area to increase the supply of gas to the national grid.
The well was planned under Rupkalpa 4 Drilling Project to implement the government’s Vision 2021 with the aim of meeting the rising demand of natural gas.
Under the project two exploration wells, Shahbazpur East 1 and Bhola North 1, and two workover wells of Shahbazpur gas field well 1 and 2 were to be drilled.
The government took the decision to award the contract to drill both wells to Gazprom even though Bapex was capable of drilling the wells itself.
Gazprom’s drilling of each well costs around Tk 200 crore, whereas Bapex could do the same job for Tk70-80 crore per well, experts say.
Bapex is currently producing and supplying 92 million cubic feet of gas to the national grid every day from its seven gas fields in Saldanadi, Fenchuganj, Shahbazpur, Semutung, Sundalpur, Srikail and Rupganj.
Bangladesh produces a total of 2.7 billion cubic feet natural gas a day against a demand of 3.4 billion.