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Dhaka Saturday,  Jun 3, 2023

Ilisha-1 Country’s 29th Gas Field: Nasrul Hamid

EB Report/UNB

Ilisha-1 in Bhola district was announced to be the 29th gas field of Bangladesh where substantial gas was found recently.

“We believe, Ilisha-1 has a reserve of 200 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas. The entire Bhola area, including this one, has a reserve of 3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told reporters today (May 22, 2023) during a briefing at his Dhaka residence while formally announcing the discovery of the gas field.

He said this is great news for the people of the country.

Ilisha-1 is located in an union in Bhola district, about 182 km from the capital city Dhaka.

On March 8 this year, Ilisha-1 excavation started in the Maler Hat area of Ilisha union under Bhola Sadar upazila and the drilling was completed successfully on April 24 through the Drill Stem Test in three levels at a depth of 3,475 metres.

The state minister said earlier that gas was found in different wells under Bhola north and Bhola south structures.

He said a plan is being prepared to bring gas from the Bhola area to Dhaka through a pipeline where many industries are facing a nagging gas shortage.

A pre-feasibility was conducted and now work is in progress for conducting a feasibility study on the issue, he noted.

Nasrul Hamid said it will take about 3 years to bring the gas from Bhola to Dhaka through a pipeline.

Initially, he said, a private company has signed a contract to bring a total of 25 mmcfd gas from Bhola through a big trailer. Primarily, it will start with 5 mmcfd.

He informed that the government has a plan to create a ring-fence of pipeline covering Bhola, Barishal and Dhaka to use the gas for this region while another ring-fence will be created covering the districts in Dhaka, Sylhet and others.

He said the commercial value of the gas in Bhola will be Tk 6500 crore if calculated in local value and Tk 26000 crore in the value of gas being imported.

Nasrul Hamid said the Ilisha-1 gas field’s discovery was announced after completion of necessary drilling and other works.

Currently, about 2300 mmcfd gas is being produced from 22 gas fields in the country, while about 700 mmcfd gas is being imported to meet the demand of about 4000 mmcfd, leaving a deficit of about 1000 mmcfd.

Apart from Ilisha-1, two Bhola gas fields have around 200 mmcf production capacity, while the production hovers between 80-85 mmcf.

Therefore, around 120 mmcf surplus capacity remains unused in the eight wells of the Shahbazpur and Bhola gas fields.

Due to the lack of pipeline and transmission facilities, the government of Bangladesh was unable to supply the surplus gas from the Bhola field to energy-hungry industrial zones in Dhaka and elsewhere.

The state minister said the average gas production rate will be 20 million cubic feet (mmcfd) per day from Elisha-1 well, of which the government can extract gas from the well around 25/26 years.

He said, ‘We have discovered the new gas field just under the river bed. We have built one process plant there and another one is underway. Hopefully, the under construction plant will be able to put gas in the pipeline within 2 to 3 years.’

The state minister said a pipeline will be installed from Bhola to Khulna via Barishal. Pre-feasibility is over and now feasibility study is going on.

‘In Bhola, there are two existing gas fields. Gas is being extracted from nine wells from three gas fields, of which six wells at Shahabazpur gas field of Borhanuddin upazila, two wells in Bhola North of Sadar upazila and lastly Elisha-1 well in Elisha field. Bhola is the only district after Sylhet where three gas fields have been discovered,’ he said.

Nasrul Hamid, however, said Bhola gas field has the capacity to produce 120 mmcfd of gas per day. The production capacity will increase further in 2024-25.

He said the government has plans to create a ring fence of pipeline covering Bhola, Barishal, and Dhaka to use the gas for this region while another ring fence will be created covering Dhaka, Sylhet and other districts.

Currently, about 2,300 mmcfd gas is being produced from 22 gas fields in the country, while about 700 mmcfd gas is being imported from abroad to meet the demand of about 4,000 mmcfd, leaving a deficit of about 1,000 mmcfd.

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