The government has awarded three more gas wells of the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) to the Russian gas exploration and production company Gazprom.
The gas wells are Tobgi-1, Illisha-1 and Bhola North-2 – all in Bhola.
Bapex had planned to explore the wells itself but it did not get the government's approval, and now the wells go to Gazprom.
As before, these wells have also been given to Gazprom under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (special provision) Act 2010 – without any tender process.
Petrobangla and Gazprom officials have not disclosed the rate for drilling the new wells.
However, The Business Standard has learnt from sources at Petrobangla that Gazprom quoted $17 million (Tk142 crore) for the drilling of each well.
On November 5, 2019, the Energy Division formed a nine-member technical committee to evaluate Gazprom's technical and financial proposals.
Petrobangla Director for operation and mines Md Kamruzzaman, the convener of that committee, told The Business Standard that he did not know the proposed rate for drilling the wells.
"Gazprom submitted two sealed envelopes – a technical proposal and a financial. We have started working on the technical proposal but have not opened the other envelope yet," said Kamruzzaman.
The RMM Power and Energy Ltd, the local negotiator of Gazprom International in Bangladesh, also did not disclose the proposed price.
"Only Gazprom knows the proposed cost for the drilling of each well," said Albert Costa, executive director of RMM Power and Energy Ltd.
Gazprom had built 17 exploratory and development wells in seven fields of three state-owned companies of Bangladesh – Bapex, Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd, and Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd.
In the first stage starting in 2013, the Russian company designed and built 10 wells – four wells of Titas, two wells of Shahbazpur, and one well each of Rashidpur, Semutang, Begumganj and Srikail.
From September 2015, Gazprom built seven more wells, including Shabajpur East-1 and Bheduriya of Bhola under two supplementary agreements with Bapex, Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd, and Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd.
The maximum total production rate of the Gazprom-explored wells was 5.118 million cubic-metre, which is about 10 percent of the total gas output in Bangladesh.
In the first phase, the drilling cost of each well was Tk155 crore.
In the second phase, the cost was Tk132-154 crore.
Bapex drills each well at a cost of Tk80 crore.