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Is Bangladesh worried about energy!



Tue, 12 Dec 23

Bangladesh's main fuel is natural gas. The latest government estimates put the remaining gas reserves in the country at 9.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf).Every month, 65 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas is being extracted from the country's mines. If calculated in very simple numbers, then the remaining gas will run for 146 months, i.e. a little more than 12 years. However, there is no opportunity to make the calculation of gas withdrawal in simple numbers like this. In any case, the news that the stock is running out quickly is alarming. The government is trying to increase gas imports as an alternative. But there is wide disagreement on whether the country's economy can withstand the pressure of imported gas.

Gas is still extracted from 26 mines in Bangladesh. Petrobangla's calculations say that 2098 million cubic feet (MMCFD) of gas was extracted from the country's mines on November 5. Now, an average of 2,000 to 2,100 million cubic feet of gas is being extracted daily from the inland mines. In the last four years, the amount of gas extracted from the country's internal mines has gradually decreased by 700 to 800 million cubic feet. Gas production will decrease further in the coming years due to the depletion of gas reserves in some mines. To deal with this situation, the import of gas should be increased. The two floating terminals now have a daily capacity of 1,000 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The two terminals supply the same amount of gas that Petrobangla imports. US company Accelerate Energy and domestic firm Summit Group have constructed two terminals at Matarbari.

Government calculations say that in 2020, 4.2 million tons will cost 1.31 billion dollars, but after two years, the same amount of LNG will cost 3.5 billion dollars. In total, 2.5 billion dollars were spent to buy oil and gas in the last three and a half years. The government fears that the increase in fuel prices will cost an additional 1.5 billion dollars this year. The government is struggling to meet this huge expenditure. Apart from this process, the government has given the task of constructing a floating terminal to import another 500 million cubic feet of LNG at Matarbari. Another 500 million LNG terminal in the Payra port area is under construction. Apart from this, an initiative is being taken to construct another LNG terminal at Matarbari. The terminal will be permanently constructed with a capacity of 1,000 million cubic feet per day which is also known as Land Based LNG Terminal.

Inland gas mining conditions
Energy department's policy and research institute Hydrokern Unit has given the latest report for the month of July. It can be seen that the total gas reserves in the country are now 9.508 TCF. Now, besides three domestic companies, two multinational companies are pumping gas.

Among the three companies in the country, Bapex owns eight mines. However, Bapex does not have a single TCF reserve in all its mines. Bapex is not producing gas from all the mines. Bapex has total reserves of 849 bcf while 4.39 bcf of gas was extracted from Bapex's mines last July. Almost the same amount of gas is being extracted in other months as well. That is, the amount of gas extracted from Bapex's mines is 52.68 BCF annually.

Bangladesh Gas Field Company Limited
Bangladesh Gas Field Company Limited (BGFCL) owns Titas gas field, the largest reserve mine in the country. The mine reserves estimate is 7.582 TCF in Titas. So far 5.337 TCF gas has been extracted from Titus in Brahmanbaria. Even if new gas is not available here, if it is possible to extract gas at the same rate, gas will be available from Titas for 15 years. However, remaining reserves of BGFCL's remaining 5 mines are 739 bcf. An average of 6.03 bcf of gas is extracted from these five mines per month.

Sylhet Gas Field Limited
Now Sylhet Gas Field (SGFCL) has the largest gas reserves in the country. The remaining reserves of five mines of the gas company are 5.174 TCF. Kailastila, Sylhet, Rashidpur, Chatak, Biyanibazar mines had a total reserve of 7.033 TCF. However, the amount of gas extracted from here is not much. Only two barrels of 82 Bcf of gas are extracted from here every month. If desired, it is possible to increase the production of more gas from here. Initiatives have also been taken to dig new wells. If it is possible to increase the production of Sylhet gas field, it is believed that the country's apparent energy crisis would have been solved.

Chevron Bangladesh
The US multinational company is the largest gas producer in the country. The company owns three gas fields. Of this, 1000 million cubic feet of gas is being supplied daily from the Bibiana gas field. That means half of the gas that is produced every day comes from Bibiana. But the mine's reserves are running out fast. Three years ago in January 2020, 1,300 million cubic feet of gas was extracted daily from Bibiana field. Now 164 million cubic feet of gas is extracted daily from the mine. In other words, the mine's daily production of 264 million cubic feet of gas has decreased.

Petrobangla, however, disagreed with the information provided by the hydrocarbon unit on the mine's reserves. The hydrocarbon unit's July report indicated remaining reserves at Bibiana at 124 BCF.

In this regard, on behalf of Views Bangladesh, we sought information from Chevron, the hydrocarbon unit's June report said Binyana gas field has remaining reserves of 157 BCF. Last May, 31 BCF of gas was extracted from here. So after four-five months, gas will not be available from Bibiana?

"Chevron Bangladesh continues to operate and invest in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and Petrobangla to provide safe, reliable and affordable natural gas that is essential to help meet the country's energy needs now and in the future," Chevron said in a written statement.

Bangladesh leverages global expertise to produce natural gas which is contributing to current demand, increasing the potential for further production and the Bibiana, Jalalabad and Moulvibazar gas fields have the potential to produce more gas.

However, Chevron has two more fields in Moulvibazar and Jalalabad. Although the amount of reserves in this field is not very high.

An official of Petrobangla said, Bibiana gas field has more reserves of one to one and a half TCF. But now the reserve has to be fixed again which Chevron hasn't done yet.

Tullow Oil PLC
An independent oil and gas company in the US and Africa. There is a mine called Bangura in Bangladesh near Tullow. 547 BCF out of the total reserves of 621 BCF have already been extracted. The remaining reserves in the mine are 73.6 BCF while 1.39 BCF gas is being pumped from here every month.

Bhola can create new possibilities
At one time, it was believed that only the eastern and northern regions of Bangladesh had mineral resources. But after getting gas in Bhola this idea changed. Two gas fields have been discovered in Bhola. Bhola's Shahjadpur, Bhola North and Ilisha together have about 2.23 TCF of gas reserves from where 300 million cubic feet to 400 million cubic feet can be lifted per day. However, due to no direct grid line with Bhola, it is not possible to bring large amount of gas from Bhola. Now 5 million cubic feet of gas is being converted into LNG by a private company. However, without bringing directly to the grid, this gas can be used to build factories and industries as well as power plants. The government does not seem to find it profitable to build a grid line from Bhola. For this reason, the policy of moving slowly is being taken.

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