The Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) is eying to add up to 300 million cubic feet of gas per day to the national grid by 2023 through its short-term exploration programme.
To achieve the target, the state-owned gas and oil exploration and production company will drill 22 wells in its designated areas as well as in areas of other production companies.
In a recent meeting, Bapex officials presented their current activities, achievements and future plans to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
"We hope to add 300 mmcf more gas to the national grid by 2023, if we can implement the plan," Bapex Managing Director Mohammad Ali told The Business Standard.
"Last year, we already added 111 mmcfd [million standard cubic feet per day] gas to the national grid," he added.
In the short term, Bapex said it plans to drill four exploratory wells in Shariatpur-1, Shikrail north-1, Tabgi-1 and Ilisha-1, which would add 65 mmcfd gas to the grid.
The gas exploration company also plans to drill five development wells in Begumganj-4 west, Shundulpur-3, Shikrail-5 and Sumetang-7 and Bhola north-2 and expects to produce 64 mmcfd gas.
Besides this, Bapex wishes to drill four well workovers – used to extend the life of a well – in Fenchuganj-3, Shaldanodi-2, Sumetang-5 and six other wells with hopes of producing 30 mmcfd gas.
The state-owned exploration company is further set to drill nine development and well workovers in the areas of the Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL) and the Sylhet Gas Fields Limited (SGFL).
It expects that a total of 104 mmcfd could be produced from these wells.
The gap between gas demand and supply has grown as the production in local fields is gradually depleting, forcing the government to import expensive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
At present, the government imports LNG to supply around 650 mmcfd gas to the national gas transmission grid. The imports, costing seven to ten times more than domestic gas, has increased the subsidy pressure on the Energy Division.
To ease the pressure, Bapex has taken a short-term gas exploration programme.
At present, Bapex produces 149 mmcfd gas, while the country's consumption is around 2,700 mmcfd.
Of the total, the BGFCL produces 630 mmcfd and the SGFL 87 mmcfd, while international oil and gas companies Chevron and Tullow produce 1,432 mmcfd.
The remaining volume of gas is imported from abroad.
Bapex added 111 mmcfd gas in 2021
In the last calendar year, Bapex added 111 mmcfd gas to the national grid through several workovers and fresh drilling in new wells.
Of the amount, 91 mmcfd has been produced from five workover wells that includes 25 mmcf from Shabajpur-3, Shikrial-4, Fenchugaj-3 and 4, and Titas-7.
Apart from these, it also produces 20 mmcfd gas from three newly-drilled wells – Sylhet-8 and 9 and Shikrial east-1.