3rd March 2018

Dhaka, March 3, 2018 (EP)- The gas reserve in a single field in Bhola Island might exceed the reserves of Titas or Bibiyana having more than seven trillion cubic feet.


As the largest gas field of Bangladesh Titas has a reserve of approximately seven TCF while the second largest field Bibiyana has a reserve of more than 4.50 TCF.


Russia’s oil-gas exploration and supply company Gazprom on Saturday at a seminar claimed the hydrocarbon prospects in Bhola as they estimate that the newly discovered gas field has the same structure of the Shahbazpur gas field, some 35 kilometers off it.


Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh organized the seminar after the government claimed discovery of a gas field with 600 billion cubic feet gas reserve and identifying increase of Shahbazpur gas field’s reserve to 900 bcf in Bhola in the past four months.


Prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury chaired the seminar while Bapex former managing director Amzad Hossain, Dhaka University geology department’s chairman Kazi Matin Uddin Ahmed and the university’s teachers’ association’s president ASM Maksud Kamal addressed the seminar.


Dhaka University geology professor Badrul Imam presented the keynote paper at the seminar.


Bapex, the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company, claimed in late October 2018 an increase of gas reserve at Shahbazpur field to at least 900 billion cubic feet from its previous estimate of nearly 500 BCF after drilling an appraisal well drilled 3.5 kilometer off the center of the field.


Bapex in early January also claimed the discovery of a fresh gas field after drilling an exploration well located 35 kilometers off the Shahbazpur field.


Being engaged by the Bapex, Gazprom drilled the two wells in Bhola.


In a paper presented by Gazprom’s country representative in Bangladesh Nikita SHUT said, ‘There is a possibility that the volume of gas reserves in place may exceed considerably exceed the current estimate.’


‘If this assumption is confirmed, the Bhola gas field would be bigger than either the Titas or Bibiyana gas field,’ he said.


He suggested to take more drilling programs in Bhola in a shortest possible time to estimate the size of the gas structure.


In his paper, Badrul Imam said that huge potentials for oil and gas remained unexplored in the onshore and offshore areas, leaving Bangladesh one of the least explored countries in the world.


Some 70 exploration wells have been drilled in the area, which is now an independent state naming Bangladesh, in the past 100 years with an exploration well density at one per 2,215 square kilometers while the density is even worse in the offshore areas with one well per 5,000 square kilometers.


Badrul said that the United States of America in the Gulf of Mexico drilled such exploration wells at the rate of one per 14 square kilometers while India drilled at the rate of one per 146 square kilometers in its offshore areas.


Bangladesh has so far drilled only 19 wells in its vast offshore areas leaving , he said, adding that the country’s largest gas structures like Bandarbans with more than 1,000 square kilometres and Sitakund with 350 square kilometer are left unexplored.


Badrul also said that the country had only explored the easy structures.


Structures like Mognama in the shallow waters and Moheshkhali near Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar, Hatia Island in Noakhali and Monpura in Bhola have a combined prospect of nearly five trillion cubic feet of gas reserves which have been left along with some other prospects in the country’s southern districts, according to the papers presented by SHUT and Badrul.


At the seminar, former managing director Bapex Amzad Hossain said that the world’s one-third gas was extracted from ‘tight gas sand’ while in Bangladesh the prospect was completely unexplored.


Amzad and Badrul pointed out that there were good number of attempts were abandoned including Sitapahar due to high pressure of the gas.


Tawifq said that the government’s efforts could hardly attract the international oil companies in the past few years due to global economic downturn.


He was hopeful of changing the scenario in the near future with the government’s programme of drilling 108 wells in five years.


Tawfiq also said that Bapex with the help of Gazprom could go for offshore exploration.


The role of Gazprom, however, drew severe criticism as it had charged much higher prices for drilling wells with very poor outputs than the other IOCs in the country.


Gazprom drilled 15 gas wells before drilling the two wells in Bhola.

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