Bangladesh has an estimated potential natural gas hydrate deposits of 0.11 to 0.73 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) areas alone, which is equivalent to 17-103 Tcf of natural gas reserves, according to the Foreign Minister and his colleagues.
A complete seismic survey of all areas of EEZ and continental shelf of Bangladesh will help determine the actual reserves, they said.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit (MAU) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam jointly shared the outcome of a desktop study at a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
Dr Momen said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been very positive about this study from the very beginning and has given all kinds of support.
“Undoubtedly, the results of this study are very encouraging for Bangladesh. This huge reserve of gas hydrates is a landmark event in the context of Bangladesh, especially in the next century, in resolving the energy crisis and as a source of environment-friendly fuels,” he said.
The Foreign Minister hoped that Bangladesh will soon enter a new era in the field of energy through the extraction of this gas hydrate.
After the formation of the Desktop Study Group, the work has been completed through the relentless efforts of Petrobangla, Bapex and local experts, including the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK, over the past three years, group leader Khurshed Alam said.
This study group has worked even in the stagnation caused by Covid-19, he said, adding that the study has been successfully completed and the presence of gas-hydrates has been found. “A preliminary idea about its location, nature and reserves has been found.”
According to this study and based on preliminary observations, Alam said there is evidence of presence of natural gas hydrates in significant areas of EEZ in Bangladesh.
The presence and potential of this huge amount of gas hydrate is expected to play an important role in meeting the overall demand of Bangladesh’s energy sector in the next century, he said.
The results of the study will be forwarded to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division for conducting a full seismic survey to determine the quantity and presence of actual reserves and to determine the environmental impact and mitigation strategies.
In addition, the study will be published in a world-renowned research journal.