State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Thursday announced a new structure of 239 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas from the exploration well No-Togbi-1 under Bhola gas field.
“But this will take one-and-a-half to two years to start producing gas from the well and supply it to the national gas network”, he told reporters while sharing the “good news” at a press briefing at his ministry conference room on Thursday.
“We need to build some necessary infrastructures including a processing plant to get this gas available for consumption”, he added.
“This is good news of relief amid ongoing gas crisis… this well can produce 20 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) over 30-31 years”, he said.
He noted that the entire gas will have the value of Tk 80 billion considering the average retail price of the local gas, reports UNB.
Nasrul informed that two more wells will be drilled in Shahbazpur upazila in Bhola gas field while Petrobangla has a plan to drill 46 wells across the country through Bapex, Sylhet Gas field Company Limited and Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL).
The US energy company Chevron will also conduct drillings in its extended area of the Bibiyana gas field.
“We hope, once these 46 wells will be drilled, some 600-700 MMCFD gas will be added to the national gas grid by 2025”, he said adding that in the meantime some gas fields will decline production by 200 MMCFD.
Currently, the state minister said that the country’s daily gas production is 2,300 MMCFD from different gas fields against a demand of 3,400 MMCFD. Alongside the local gas production, some 400 MMCFD gas is being imported under long-term contract.
Responding to a question on the government’s move for increasing gas supply, Nasrul said that the government had to suspend import of gas from the international spot market due to excessive price hike.
“If the government imports one ship of gas, it costs Tk 15 billion while it has to sell it at Tk 580 million. There is a huge gap between imported price and selling price”, he said the government cannot afford it without raising prices.
He said the government did not raise the price considering its impacts.
“That’s why we cannot use gas to generate electricity that leads to load shedding,” he said.
“We hope, from the current month, the extent of load shedding will decrease. We’re planning to improve the situation from next February through some external management”, he said.
He said gas demand for industries increased for which the industrial sector is experiencing a crisis. But supply remains the same as that was in the previous year.