Since 2012 Gazprom EP International has participated in design and construction of a number of wells in Bangladesh’s gas fields. The Company has designed and constructed 17 appraisal, exploration and production wells in eight fields of the country.
The drilling program executed by Gazprom EP International following a request from BAPEX turned out to be extremely successful. Therefore, the Company wants to continue its efforts in this area. At present, Petrobangla and Gazprom EP International are discussing a large-scale cooperation that includes investment, exploration and development, infrastructure and a joint venture.
The history of the Russian-Bangladesh cooperation dates back to the beginning of the 1970s, when East Pakistan gained independence, changed its name for Bangladesh (Bengali Land) and set a course for economic modernization. One of the main factors that facilitates economic independence of any country is the access to its own affordable energy resources.
The USSR provided significant support to the young Republic of Bangladesh in 1970s and 1980s. Besides military and political backing, soviet geologists and geophysicists were seconded to the country. With their support, first geological maps of Bangladesh were created, which paved the way for the future oil and gas industry of the country.
However, due to objective reasons, active cooperation between the Soviet Union and Bangladesh was put on hold for twenty years.
In 2010, Bangladesh Government contacted the Russian side proposing to take part in exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields in their territory as well as in the construction of a single gas supply system. Prospecting and exploration of new fields in Bangladesh were not carried out for the past ten years, therefore, the government initiated a drilling program to construct new production wells.
The start of the program coincided with the first working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Syed Abdus Samad, State Minister and Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The meeting adopted a resolution on creating joint expert groups for furthering cooperation and preparing the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Petrobangla.
In 2011, Gazprom EP International, Gazprom’s operator of overseas upstream projects, was entrusted with building up the relationships with the new partners and working out specific plans. Since then, contacts between the two parties have intensified. In the same year, Alexey Miller met with Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the cooperation opportunities for oil and gas fields development and gas infrastructure construction in Bangladesh.
Gazprom EP International’s management held meetings with the country’s officials on a regular basis devoting particular attention to the issues of promising cooperation, hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration, a need for an effective system of personnel training and development in oil and gas industry of Bangladesh, a possible joint venture (JV) as the most convenient form of cooperation between the two companies, etc.
The first contract was signed in April 2012. Gazprom EP International and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Сompany Ltd. (BAPEX), Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd. (BGFCL) and Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd (SGFL), subsidiaries of Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla), signed two contracts for drilling of production wells. The Russian side undertook an obligation to design and construct ten wells in the following fields: Titas (four wells), Rashidpur, Semutang, Begumganj, Srikail and Shahbazpur (two wells) with the depth varying from three to four thousand meters. Eight wells were designed as directional and two wells as vertical (Rashidpur-8 and Begumganj-3). The work was continued for 23 months.
In 2013, the State University of Dhaka (Bangladesh) held a scientific conference on Exploration Technology organized by Gazprom EP International with support of Petrobangla. The conference gathered the experts from Gazprom, Gazprom VNIIGAZ, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, University of Dhaka, Petrobangla, and Gazprom EP International. The Russian side presented the University of Dhaka computers for the laboratory of the Geology Department.
In March 2013, Gazprom EP International began drilling of the first two wells (Titas and Srikail fields). In November 2014, all ten gas wells were fully completed and put into normal operation:
Srikail-3 (3,350 m, 618 mcm/day);
Titas-20 (3,532 m, 300 mcm/day);
Titas-21 (3,545 m, 690 mcm/day);
Begumganj-3 (3,565 m, 642 mcm/day);
Titas-22 (3,636 m, 357 mcm/day);
Titas-19 (3,880 m, 425 mcm/day);
Rashidpur-8 (2,990 m, 435 mcm/day);
Semutang-6 (3,032 m, 191 mcm/day);
Shahbazpur-3 (3,902 m, 544 mcm/day);
Shahbazpur-4 (3,805 м, 916 mcm/day).
The total meterage under the contracts reached 35,237 m, the average commercial drilling rate was 1,805 m/month per rig (the maximum rate was registered at the Shakhbazpur-4 well – 2,283 m/month per rig). The maximum total well flow rate during testing was 5,118 mmcm/day, which corresponds to 16.8% of the Petrobangla production level and 7.5% of the total production in the country.
Thus, Gazprom EP International fully completed its obligations before BAPEX and BGFCL/SGFLunder two drilling contracts.
Following a successful end of the first joint project in September 2015 BAPEX, BGFCL and SGFL commissioned drilling of another five production wells. Gazprom EP International undertook to design and drill three wells in the Rashidpur field, one well in the Srikail field and one well in the Bakhrabad field.
In 2016, the company constructed all five wells and completed the second stage of the Bangladesh drilling program having exceeded the contract schedule by over 5 months.
In March 2017, Gazprom EP International and BAPEX entered into the Addendum on the construction of two production wells (Shahbazpur East-1 and Bhola North-1) located on Bhola Island in the south of the country.
In August 2017, Gazprom EP International drilled the Shahbazpur East-1 well that produced commercial gas in November 2017. The target depth was 3,550 m and the maximum well flow rate during testing was 952 mcm/d.
Gazprom EP International commenced the Bhola North-1 well construction in December 2017. The well produced commercial gas in February 2018. Its depth was 3,516 m and the well flow rate during testing was 910 mcm/d.
Within the framework of cooperation with Petrobangla, Gazprom EP International drilled 17 wells with the total drilling meterage of over 50,000 m between 2013 and 2018. The total well flow rate was ca. 7 BCM per year. Therefore, the total gas production in the country increased by over 10%.
In January 2020 two Memorandums were signed in Dhaka.
Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Syed Ashfaquzzman, Petrobangla Secretary, signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding for strategic cooperation.
Sergey Tumanov, Managing Director and CEO of Gazprom EP International, and Bapex Corporate Secretary Mohammad Ali inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Bhola Island Fields Evaluation. In case the project proves to be prospective based on the exploration results, the Parties will consider a possibility to establish a joint venture for the fields development on the island.
Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, Myanmar to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the south.
Bangladesh was founded in 1971 after the secession from Pakistan. It is a democratic, secular and unitary state. Its form of government is a parliamentary republic.
The country is divided into eight administrative divisions named after their major cities: Barishal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet. Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh with the population of ca. 10,000,000 people. Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populous countries. Its population is ca. 160,000,000 people as of July 2018.
The mining industry plays a big role in the economy of Bangladesh. The proved natural gas reserves are ca. 360 BCM. The major fields are located in the east of the country within the Sylhet and Comilla districts. Petrobangla holds the government monopoly in the oil and gas sector of Bangladesh.
Over the last years, Bangladesh has put major efforts into gas industry development. It carried out exploration of a number of gas fields, drew up a plan for gas supply within the country, and scheduled for offshore exploration.
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