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Can new gas field, Ilisha, help Bangladesh solve energy crisis to some extent?

Can new gas field, Ilisha, help Bangladesh solve energy crisis to some extent?


When Bangladesh is suffering from energy crisis, at that moment, the light of hope has been lit in Bhola, the island district of the country. Ilisha-1 well in Bhola has been recognized as the 29th gas field in the country. That was almost two and a half decades ago, when it was said that ‘Bangladesh is floating on natural gas’.

In other words, the amount of gas stored in the country’s mines in Bengal is so huge that depending on it, Bangladesh itself can export it after putting gas in the oven or driving a car or in industrial factories. But how much gas reserves in Bangladesh? And how long will it be possible to run with gas? State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has expressed optimism that there are 200 billion cubic feet of gas reserves in this gas field. After drilling the well, the total amount of gas in the well is determined depending on the result of seismic survey and the pressure of the gas there.

The government has now planned to bring Bhola gas to land. Once the feasibility study is done for Bhola to Feni Economic Zone. Now again Bhola to Barisal option. Bhola worked from 1994 to 2004. Two gas fields, one at Bhola and one at Shahbazpur. Shahbazpur 1, 2, 3, 4 and Shahbazpur East 5 gas fields have been discovered. 120 to 130 million cubic feet of gas per day can be extracted from 5 gas fields. Earlier there was a plan to lift 70 million cubic feet of gas. Recently, a process plan of 60 million has been initiated at the beginning of Corona. Canadian company Five Blues is working there. This process plan will be commissioned within next 15 days. Together with these two, we have the capacity to supply 150 million cubic feet of gas including 130 million. It went to Shahbazpur. And Bhola has a well ready to give 25 to 30 million cubic feet.

Bapex has 4 rigs in gas exploration and production. Each of the 4 rigs is planned for the year till 31 December 2025. Which rig will go where, when will go, a complete rig schedule is made. In light of that, BAPEX work will be done, Sylhet gas field work will also be done and Bangladesh gas field work will also be done. Bapex has worked to ensure that the rig does not sit for a day. Exploratory wells have been drilled. Production wells are drilled. Drilling continues in wells that have dried up or that have depleted gas. The rig is at its peak usage now.

The first task to actually be able to find oil and gas is to drill wells. The more exploration, the more gas can be discovered. If the search is a limitation – ie two searches result in one success. In Bangladesh, three is to one success on average. Internationally, Seven by Eight is a success. In America and Canada, they dug 10 wells and found one success. That way we have to drill more exploration wells. An environment for drilling exploratory wells should be created. In terms of investment, we can dig an exploration well if it is close to Rs 100 crore. If the excavation of the exploration well is a little more, in that case, if 120 or 130 crore rupees, then success can be achieved. Development wells 80 to 100 crores.

Prior to 2009, Bapex had no significant drilling rigs. Because one rig was bought from France and America in 1981 and 1984 respectively. Both these rigs have been running for years. After that, the government did not buy any more instruments or auxiliary equipment. After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power, three rigs named Vijay 10, Vijay 11 and Vijay 12 were purchased in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively. In 2018, Vijay 18 rigs were purchased for work over. It has been 12 years since the last Vijay 12 rig was purchased. Recently we have gas in 3000, 4000-meter layers like Titas, Shahbazpur. The gas fields of this layer are decreasing day by day. Now it’s time for us to go deeper. 5 to 7 thousand meters depth should be dug. At present there are 1000, 1500 and 2000 horse power rigs. If we want to go deep, we need a rig of 2500 to 3000 horse power. BAPEX does data acquisition, processing, interpretation. All have 3D modeling software. If some processing equipment is added to this software, we will be able to keep pace with international standards.

In a press conference held at Baridhara residence in the capital on Monday, the state minister said that the price of stockpiled gas is Tk 6,500 crore in Bangladeshi currency. 26 thousand crores considering the price of imported LNG. Bhola is estimated to have a total of about 3 TCF of gas reserves. This gas can be extracted for about 26 to 30 years. At present, the government has a process plant. Another Anna has started. It will be possible to supply Bhola gas in the pipeline within two-three years.

A pipeline will go from Bhola to Barisal to Khulna. Survey work is going on for this. To ensure energy security, the Togbi-1, Bhola North-2 and Ilisha-2 wells were drilled under the supervision of BAPEX through Gazprom, the state-owned Russian oil and gas producer. It has ensured that gas is obtained at the rate of 20 million cubic feet per day from each well. Gas is being extracted from 9 wells in 3 gas fields. These are 6 wells in Shahbazpur gas field of Borhanuddin upazila, two wells in Bhola North of Sadar Veduria Union and lastly Ilisha-1 well in Ilisha field.

According to Bapex sources, the distance from Shahbazpur gas field to Ilisha is 35-38 km. And it is located at a distance of 6 to 8 km from Bhola North. On March 9, Ilisha-1 well was discovered in the area adjacent to Maler market in Ilisha Union of Bhola Sadar Upazila.

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