Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) has discovered the presence of natural gas at an exploratory well in Bhola’s Bheduria upazila.
Company Chairman and Energy Division Secretary Nazimuddin Chowdhury confirmed the matter on Monday. However, he refused to disclose further details.
The well was planned under the Rupkalpa 4 Drilling Project, to meet increasing demands for natural gas as part of the government’s Vision 2021 initiative.
Under the project, two exploratory wells - Shahbazpur East 1 and Bhola North 1 - and two workover wells were planned for Shahbazpur gas field.
In December last year, Russian oil giant Gazprom started the drilling of the Bhola North 1 onshore gas exploratory well as a contractor on behalf of Bapex.
The government took the decision to award the contract to drill both the wells to Gazprom even though Bapex was capable of drilling the wells itself.
Gazprom’s drilling of each of the wells costs around Tk200 crore, whereas Bapex could do the same for Tk70 to 80 crore per well, an expert said on condition of anonymity.
Bapex recently struck gas at the onshore Shahbazpur East 1 exploratory well in Bhola, with an estimated reserve of 700 billion cubic feet.
“We confirmed the presence of the gas reserve after analyzing the logging results,” a Bapex official, asking not be named, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
“We will run the DST (drill stem testing) within the next five days on the basis of the logging results,” the official added.
A drilling stem test is conducted to find out how much recoverable gas the reserve contains and how much can be produced from the well per day.
If the gas is found commercially viable through the DST, then the gas field will be the 27th in Bangladesh.
Another Bapex official said the new gas field is 35km away from the other recently discovered Shahbazpur gas field.
The official also pointed out that the gas from the new reserve cannot be added to the national grid, as the construction cost of such a long pipeline would be huge. As such, the gas which is being produced from the four wells at Shahbazpur gas field is yet to be used efficiently, with there being an absence of gas-consuming industries in the vicinity.
The Bapex official suggested that a power plant or large industry be established in the area in order to utilize the natural resource.
Currently, Bapex is producing about 110 mmcf (Million Cubic Feet) of gas per day from seven onshore gas fields - Saldanadi, Fenchuganj, Shahbazpur, Semutang, Sundalpur, Srikail and Rupganj.