The company Gazprom International, the single operator for Gazprom's upstream projects outside the Russian Federation, is carrying out preparations at an accelerated pace for the start of drilling work on Bangladesh territory.
At the start of January, the company completed the construction and preparation of the drilling fields, as well as the foundations underneath the drilling rigs. Assembly work on the well drills is currently being carried out. Drilling of the first two wells at the Titas and Shrikail deposits is expected to start in the next few weeks.
It is planned that 10 wells will be drilled in six gas deposits in the country, all under contracts with the companies BAPEX and BGFCL/SGFL (subsidiary organisations of the Bangladesh National Oil-and-Gas Corporation, PetroBangla).
In order to fulfil these contracts, two ZJ-70 LDB well drills with a load-carrying ability of up to 450 tonnes were delivered in December 2012 to the local port of Chittagong, along with accommodation modules for the construction of the work camp. The construction of the work camps is now complete, and erection crews have arrived in the country.
Gazprom International and PetroBangla signed two drilling contracts in April 2012. In accordance with the agreement reached, the Russian side is to drill 10 wells at the Titas (four wells), Rashidpur, Semutang, Begumganj, Shrikail and Shahbazpur (two wells) deposits. Their depth is planned to be in the range of 2900 to 4050 m. Eight wells will be drilled slanted, and two will be vertical. The work will last for 20 months.
Bangladesh's annual need for natural gas, which is used mainly for power plants and factories for the production of mineral fertilisers, is today estimated to be 21 billion cubic metres. Furthermore, current production is decreasing and at the moment amounts to around 18 billion cubic metres.
In the last 10 years, no work on prospecting and exploration of new deposits in Bangladesh has been carried out. Hence the country's government has undertaken a programme to drill new production wells.