The Scientific Conference on Oil and Gas Exploration Technologies was held at the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh) on 24–25 April. The Conference was organised by Gazprom International, the sole Gazprom company specialising in prospecting, exploration and production of hydrocarbons outside of the Russian Federation, with support from Petrobangla, the Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation (BOGMC).
The opening ceremony of the forum was attended by H.E. Dr. Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Prof. Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of the University of Dhaka, Mohammed Hussain Monsur, Chairman of Petrobangla, Yuri Skok, Director of the Moscow Branch of Gazpom International, H.E. Dr. Saiful Hoque, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Russia, and H.E. Alexander Nikolayev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bangladesh. Speakers stressed the importance of this event for the development of the oil and gas sector in Bangladesh and expressed the hope that it would become a regular event.
At the end of the opening ceremony, the Russian side announced the donation of computer equipment to Dhaka University, for a laboratory of the Geology Department.
The conference, which attracted a great deal of attention from the scientific and industrial circles of the fuel and energy sector of Bangladesh, was attended by employees of Gazprom, Gazprom VNIIGAZ, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Gubkin University of Oil and Gas, Dhaka University, Petrobangla and Gazprom International.
The Conference discussed various scientific aspects of geological exploration activities, advanced scientific and practical experience, issues of the current state and prospects for the development of hydrocarbon resources in Bangladesh, and opportunities for Russian-Bangladeshi cooperation in the oil and gas industry.
This is the first such high level industry event organised by a Russian company in Bangladesh. According to the unanimous opinion of participants in the forum, this Conference will give a new impetus to the development of bilateral cooperation in the scientific and practical spheres, will specify the need for cooperation in the training of national personnel and will open up new prospects for the development of the energy sector of the country's economy.
Bangladesh desperately needs to increase its own production of natural gas, which is used mainly for the production of mineral fertilisers and in power plants. No work on prospecting and exploring new deposits in Bangladesh has been carried out in recent years, and in view of this, the country's Government has approved a programme to drill new operational wells.
Under two contracts with the Bangladeshi side, Gazprom International should design and drill 10 operational wells to a depth of up to 4050 m at the following fields: Titas (four wells), Shahbazpur (two wells), as well as Rashidpur, Semutang, Begumganj and Srikail (one well each). The depth of the first of these wells – Titas 20, where drilling has been carried out since February this year – has been brought to approximately 2100 m. At the Shrikail deposit (Srikail 3 well), drilling has been implemented completely, and preparation for gas production is underway.