The government of Bangladesh plans to build and put into operation at least 57 new prospecting wells until 2021, as reported by The Financial Express citing Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, who presented a report to the country’s Parliament on February 25.
According to the Minister, construction of new wells will allow to satisfy a large portion of the growing demand for fuel in Bangladesh and reduce the energy shortfalls, which currently amount to over 5 billion cubic meters per year.
Nasrul Hamid also noted that following the implementation of the drilling program, natural gas production will increase by approximately 1.2 billion cubic feet (34 million cubic meters) per day or over 12 billion cubic meters per year, which would be equal to more than 40% of the total production volume of natural gas in the country. At present, Bangladesh produces around 28 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.
In addition, the Minister stated that Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX), the subsidiary of national Bangladesh Oil and Gas Corporation Petrobangla in the field of exploration and production, continues to carry out 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition on several prospective areas within the Republic with the objective of discovering new oil-and-gas bearing zones and estimating the hydrocarbon reserves.
Previously, it was announced that Petrobangla called tender for international companies to carry out an extensive 2D seismic exploration of several deep-water blocks of the Bay of Bengal. Specialists believe that the area of the bay that belongs to Bangladesh might contain several trillion cubic feet of natural gas (1000 cubic feet = 28.3 cubic meters).
In total, there are 26 discovered gas fields in Bangladesh, and 2 of them are located on the Bay of Bengal shelf. Petrobangla estimates the country’s proved hydrocarbon reserves at over 15 trillion cubic feet (more than 400 billion cubic meters).
In the end of 2014, Gazprom International, the sole specialized operator of Gazprom's hydrocarbon exploration and development projects outside the Russian Federation, entirely fulfilled its obligations within the framework of its first joint project with Bangladesh under two drilling contracts signed on April 26, 2012 with BAPEX, BGFCL and SGFL, Petrobangla’s subsidiaries. In accordance with those agreements, ten wells were designed and built at six fields of Bangladesh. Tests showed that maximum total production rate of the wells amounted to 5.1 million cubic meters per day, which is equal to 16.8% of Petrobangla’s production volume and to 7.5% of the total yield in the country.
In September of 2015, Gazprom International and Petrobangla's business units signed two additional agreements for construction of five new wells. Under these contracts, Gazprom International will design and build five producing wells: three wells at the Rashidpur field, one well at the Srikail field and one well at the Bakhrabad field.
On 15 February, 2016, the company began to drill the first well (Srikail-4) under the new contract.
In July 2014, during a meeting between the Managing Director of Gazprom International and Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, apart from the plans to continue cooperating in the sphere of services, the sides discussed their intention to establish a joint venture with one of Petrobangla's subsidiaries to work in Bangladesh and in third countries.