Huge gas field discovered in northeast Bangladesh

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (Bapex) has discovered a potentially big oil and gas field in the country’s northeastern districts which is spread across Sunamganj and Netrokona districts. “While finding oil and gas there ultimately depended on luck, the geological structure determined through a survey was very much in favour of a gas field with two to three trillion cubic feet (tcf) reserve,” ‘Daily Star’ quoted Bapex Managing Director Mortuza Ahmad Faruque as saying. In such case, it would be the biggest find by the lone Bangladeshi exploration company that had over the years discovered 10 small to medium fields. The biggest field discovered by Bapex so far is in Shahbazpur in Bhola that has around 600 billion cubic feet (bcf) reserve. “This is a high prospect zone. It is located in the Surma basin. The Bibiyana field is located in the eastern part of this basin while this zone is located in the western part. This zone has all the geological characteristics required for oil or gas deposit. The size of this structure can accommodate two to three tcf gas,” said Mortuza. The structure has been given the name “Sunetra” combining the names of Sunamganj and Netrokona as the structure spreads across both the districts. Bapex is now preparing a high priority proposal for the government to drill one exploratory well in next March-April at a cost of Tk 80-90 crore in Fulor village in Sunamganj by the Monai river. The proposal will be sent to the higher authorities for approval next month. If the well strikes gas, there is a provision for drilling three development wells and installing a gas processing plant. “We are making this proposal in such a way that we don’t need to waste time seeking approval at each level of development of this potential field,” said Mortuza. Gas from this field can be made available to Netrokona or Mymensingh within a couple of years. The energy ministry is already working on a pipeline project on priority basis to transmit the new find. According to the Bapex MD, the gas can be quickly delivered up to Netrokona by installing a 25-kilometre pipeline. Besides, the government can set up power plants close to the gas field to utilise the gas even faster. A top official of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd said Titas has a high pressure gas pipeline up to Netrokona. Although this pipeline does not have large capacity to transmit huge gas, it could certainly handle gas from at least one well of the field. This could be worked out immediately after the discovery, he said. This would be an important discovery as gas crisis is already affecting the country’s power generation, industrial production and even household stoves. The field was discovered through a seismic survey covering a line of 260 kilometres conducted last year and earlier this year. The interpretation of the survey data was completed in July and Bapex submitted it to its parent company Petrobangla. The survey has cost Tk 3.5 crore, officials say. ((27 SEP 2010))





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